Heber J. Grant : highlights in the life of great leader
Hinckley, Bryant S
THE YOUTH OF ZION
Grateful appreciation for reading the manuscript and making valuable suggestions is due to Mark
E. Petersen of the Deseret News; A. Hamer Reiser, formerly of the Deseret Book Company;
Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr., of Morgan & Morgan, Attorneys; George J. Cannon, Manager of the
Beneficial Life Insurance Company; Amy Brown Lyman; C. Alfred Laxman of the Deseret
News; my daughters, Carol H. Cannon and Sylvia Wads-worth.
Special acknowledgment is due Mrs. Marba C. Josephson of The Improvement Era, for her
generous and valuable assistance in the arrangement and substance of this book; to my devoted
wife, Lois A. Hinckley, for her untiring help and encouragement; to Lucy Grant Cannon for her
many and valuable contributions; to Rachel Grant Taylor, Mary Grant Judd, and Dessie Grant
Boyle for their important contributions and cheerful cooperation.
To these, and to all who have in any way assisted in this work, I express my profound gratitude.
— Bryant S. Hinckley
Across threescore years comes a vivid recollection of the first time I ever saw or heard Heber J.
Grant. It was in the afternoon of an autumn day. We quit our work on the farm, washed our faces,
and went to an old adobe meetinghouse in Fillmore.
There were a good many people there, eager to see the new Apostle, for he had been chosen but
recently. I do not know who was with him or where they were going, but I shall never forget him.
He was young, tall, very thin, well-groomed, with a remarkably clear complexion, a dark beard,
and a fine speaking voice. He spoke fluently, clearly, and with great earnestness, and briefly. I
was impressed by him. On our return home my mother remarked: "I knew his father. I heard him
speak, and he is much like him. His father died at forty; he may do the same."
From then until President Grant's death I had somewhat frequent contact with him, came to know
him intimately, and, as I did so, my admiration ripened into affection. So I am frank to confess I
am writing this sketch with a strong bias in his favor. Many people thought as my mother did, that
he would die at an early age. On the contrary, he lived a long, strenuous, and abundant life,
outliving many people whose expectancy was far greater than his own. He attributed his
longevity to his observance of the Word of Wisdom and to the providence of the Almighty in
preserving his life.
When he peacefully laid his burdens down and closed his eyes for the last time, there were
eighty-eight shining years to his credit — years of noble, generous, and splendid living. He left a
name untarnished and a fame that will never perish.
ance business — Meets Henry B. Hyde — Alexander G. Haw's offer — Utah Vinegar Works — Co-
op Wagon and Machine Company — Purchased control of Salt Lake Herald — Mojave Land and
Cattle Company — Offered the Governorship.
HOME LIFE OF THE GRANTS 77
Lucy Stringham Grant — Dies at thirty-five — Lucy Cannon's account of her mother — Her
teachings impressed upon her children — Augusta Winters Grant — Mary Judd's account of her
mother — Noble ancestry — Teaches school — Marries Apostle Grant — Her philosophy of life —
Beautiful in character and countenance — Emily Harris Wells Grant — Interesting account by
Dessie — On the underground — Goes to Europe — Loved by the elders and saints-Dies May 25,
Chapter VI EARLY EXPERIENCES IN THE CHURCH 95
Record of his ordinations — Ward teacher — Pays tribute to Hamilton G. Park and others — Gives
Bishop fifty dollars — Called by special revelation to apostleship.
Chapter VII MISSION PRESIDENT 103
Goes to Japan to preside — Address to Japanese nation-Alma O. Taylor's estimate — President of
European Mission — Interview with King Oscar of Sweden.
Chapter VIII MADE PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH 115
Significant period in the history of the Church — His words on becoming President — Kept his
pledge — Growth of the Church.
Chapter IX DEDICATION OF TEMPLES 121
Hawaiian Temple dedicated — Canadian Temple dedicated — Arizona Temple dedicated — Man of
two worlds — His Temple record.
Chapter X UNVEILING OF MONUMENTS 127
Mormon Battalion Monument — Washington Chapel — Cumorah Monument — Winter Quarters
Chapter XI CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 135
Joseph Smith's first vision — Centennial anniversary of the existence of the plates from which the
Book of Mormon was translated — Early landmarks — Celebration of the hundreth anniversary of
the organization of the Church — "Message of the Ages" — Comparison after one hundred years.
Chapter XII OTHER MAJOR EVENTS 147
Change in educational policy — Tabernacle Choir Broadcast — Welfare Program — Long-range
objective — Gives 5,670 acres of land — Members of the Church the world over beneficiaries —
Russia's war on religion.
THREE GREAT THEMES 157
The Word of Wisdom — Fought for prohibition — Repeal of Eighteenth Amendment — The
strength of being clean — The verdict of a hundred years — Thorndike's findings — Home
industry — Let us keep our lands — Financial support of the Church — Story of the ten apples.
SPEAKER AND WRITER 171
Preacher rather than writer — His style was direct-Practiced what he preached — Militant for
righteousness — Examples of his style — Bearing his testimony — The pearl of great price is life
eternal — Come, Come, Ye Saints — Straight and narrow path — Service secret of happiness —
Story of his brother's conversion — The Book of Mormon opened to Alma 36:30. B. F. Grant a
great missionary — Hour of temptation — Preaches in Paragonah.
GUEST SPEAKER 191
Traveled far — Spoke before civic organizations — Speaks before Chamber of Commerce, Kansas
City — Speaks before Knife and Fork Club, Kansas City — Speaks before Chemurgic Council —
Entertained by Henry Ford-Speech in Estes Park.
Chapter XVI A PHILANTHROPIST 201
Never did a sordid thing — A service unmatched for generosity — Joseph Anderson's tribute —
Lucy's account — Additional examples of generosity — Handicapped typist — Pays a widow's
mortgage — Doctor in Chicago-Brings blind girl to Utah — Helps a young artist — His Temple
work — Helps Joseph Everett — Gave away a hundred thousand books.
Chapter XVII HIS FRIENDSHIPS 219
Judge a man by the company he keeps — Henry Ford-Edgar A. Guest — Charles G. Dawes — Fred
W. Shibley — Alexander G. Haws — Daniel C. Jackling — Brigham Young and others.
Chapter XVIII HIS BIRTHDAYS 231
His home and office banked with flowers — Seventy-fifth birthday — Celebration of his eighty-
second anniversary — Box of silver dollars — Editorial Salt Lake Tribune — Deseret News
Chapter XIX HIS SYMPATHIES 241
A long list shared his rides — Devotion to his invalid wife — Her death — Prayer saves his
daughter — Death of his son — Quality of his faith — Augusta Grant's diary.
LAST RITES 251
Suffered a stroke in California — Last year his energies began to fail — Monday May 14, 1945, he
passed away-Taken to the Church Office building — Twelve thousand people passed the casket.
Chapter XXI "HE WAS OF THE GREAT ONES OF THE EARTH" 255
Eventful years in the history of the Church — No ordinary man — To my son — What men said of
him — Noble Warrum's tribute — J. Reuben Clark, Jr/s tribute.
GREAT men are the commissioned guides of mankind who rule their fellows because they are
wiser. — Carlyle.
Back in 1856, when Salt Lake City was in its infancy and many of its inhabitants were still living
in log cabins and all its business places faced a wide and often dusty street — in a pioneer home,
standing where Z. C. M. I. now stands, a son of promise was born. When this child was nine days
old, his father died. His widowed mother was left in poverty. If the delicate infant were to
survive, which many doubted he would do, he must have the tenderest care. He survived, and the
story of his accomplishments as a boy and a man should, for all time, stir the imaginations of
This frail boy, his mother's only child, lived to see Salt Lake become a great metropolis and one
of the most beautiful and attractive cities in the world. On his eighty-second birthday he was
honored with a testimonial which remains unmatched by any tribute that has been paid to any
other citizen of his state. At that time it was said that he knew the city and its people better than
any other living person and that he had contributed more to its growth than any other living man.
At the time of his death, in his eighty-ninth year, he was recognized as a leader of men and stood
at the head of the greatest ecclesiastical organization of the world.
What was behind this brilliant and remarkable career? What is the source of goodness and
greatness in men? Heber J. Grants religion gives a clear answer to these weighty questions. We
lived before we were born. We are dual in our personalities. We have a mortal and spiritual
inheritance, both of which are tremendously important in shaping our destiny. Some have been
able to trace their physical ancestry through many generations, but the story of our spiritual
existence is closed. No matter how we try, we cannot remove the veil that hides the past. The
finite mind cannot penetrate the realm of the infinite, and therein he the answers to these
searching questions. Where did we come from? What did we do there? How did our experience
there affect us here? These questions can find answer only through the light of revelation.
Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the
world was; and among all these were many of the noble and great ones; and God saw these souls
that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers;
for he stood among those that were spirits, and He saw that they were good; and he said unto me:
Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
This scripture reveals clearly that there were in the spirit world, noble and great ones, destined to
become the prophets, teachers, reformers, statesmen, and leaders in the world. Among them were
the children of destiny, the poets, philosophers, scientists, soldiers and those whose names have
illuminated the pages of history. The part we played, the development we made in our primeval
existence, carries over and becomes a part of us here. What we are here, in large measure, is the
result of what we were in our pre-mortal existence. Among those who stood as leaders, "the noble
and great ones," in that primeval world were such spirits as Heber J. Grant. In the hope of finding
something that would justify ancestral pride and inspire to better endeavor, many find interest in
tracing their lineage back through the generations to discover who their forebears were and what
Heber J. Grant's ancestry for a long way back is well-authenticated. There need be no guesswork
about who his ancestors were or what they did. He descended from a notable line. Patriots,
preachers, pioneers, reformers, civic and religious leaders are found among them. They belonged
to the aristocracy of their time and rank with the very best men and women of their day.
Archibald F. Bennett says of them:
The ancestors of our President have made much history, whether presiding over states and armies,
over earldoms or counties, over local courts or congregations, or only their own families. Each
generation must be judged according to the standards of that period. But as one reads over the
intimate and authentic story of their lives, as it has been recovered and reconstructed, there comes
an overwhelming feeling that here is an honorable parentage, a noble lineage of the best men and
women of their day. 2
President Grant was well-born and wisely reared. His immediate ancestors were no less renowned
than those who preceded them. From his father and his mother he inherited qualities of great
Jedediah M. Grant
His father, Jedediah M. Grant, was born February 21, 1816, in Windsor, Broome County, New
York, and died December 1, 1856, in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the age of forty years, nine months,
and ten days. He was a tall, straight, sinewy young man, with a flaming zeal for truth. In his
seventeenth year he joined the Church, and in the following year went with Zion's Camp from
Kirtland, Ohio, to Jackson County, Missouri, and was subsequently chosen as one of the
seventies. He was among the first elders of the Church to preach the gospel in the Southern
June 25, 1844, two days prior to the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, Jeddy was chosen by the
Prophet as one of two trusted messengers to carry word to Governor Ford of Illinois that the
Prophet would be in Carthage the following day. Those were momentous days; trust could not be
lightly placed, consequently, this showed the great confidence which Joseph Smith had in
Jedediah M. Grant.
As a young man Jeddy passed through the persecutions of Missouri and Illinois, and in the
summer of 1847 he crossed the plains, arriving in Salt Lake Valley in October of that year. This
journey was beset with tragedies and physical hardships that not only tested his faith and
measured his physical endurance, but also overwhelmed him with grief. First, his little daughter,
Margaret, died and was buried in a shallow grave in a lonely place on the plains. Soon after, his
wife, Caroline, unable to endure the hardships and tragedies of the journey, sickened and died. It
was her dying request to have her remains brought to the valley for burial and likewise to have
the remains of her little daughter brought here and laid beside her. Jeddy, of course, consented,
and with his own hands made a crude coffin from rough boards, strapped it to the side of his
wagon, and placed in it all that was mortal of his young and beautiful wife; then he continued the
sorrowful journey to the valley, where she was laid peacefully away. If Caroline Grant was not
the first pioneer buried in the valley, she was among the very first. She died a martyr for the truth.
As soon as Jeddy could make the necessary arrangements, he went back to get the remains of his
little girl. To his great sorrow he discovered that the wolves had dug up her body, devoured it,
and scattered her bones so there was nothing left to bring. Sad though the circumstances were
under which Jedediah M. Grant entered Salt Lake Valley on that October day of 1847, his spirit
was not broken.
The loyalty and assistance which he gave to President Brigham Young, and his demonstrated
leadership soon brought him recognition. On January 19, 1851, he was elected the first mayor of
Salt Lake City, and on April 7, 1854, he was ordained an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and
chosen by Brigham Young as Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church. He was
prominent in the political, religious, and economic affairs of the territory. Very early in his life
Jedediah became distinguished as a preacher of righteousness. He was known for his
resourcefulness, his courage, and for his power of conversion. He was a man of action, always
helpful, hospitable, generous, and kind. He was one of the most enterprising and progressive men
in that distinguished group of pioneers.
The year 1856 closed what was known in the Church as the "Reformation." This was a call to
repentance. The general text was: "Saints, Live Your Religion." People were encouraged to renew
their covenants by baptism, to observe cleanliness in their persons and dwellings, to put their
families in order, to cultivate their grounds and gardens carefully, and not to seem too anxious to
have more land than they could attend to themselves, to gather into and build up the forts and
This appeal concluded by "praying that all those who did not feel to do right might have their way
open to leave the people and the territory of Utah; and those who did, to come forward and do
their first works over." Jedediah M. Grant was one of the most ardent advocates of the
"Reformation." He threw his heart and soul into it, sometimes holding two and three meetings in
one night, and died as a result of overwork.
Rachel Ridgeway Ivins Grant
The ancestors of Rachel Ridgeway Ivins Grant, the mother of President Heber J. Grant, were of
English descent and came to the new world in 1 690. They were among the earliest settlers of
Long Island. In 1760 they moved to New Jersey and played an important part in the history of
that state. Rachel was born March 7, 1821, in Hornerstown, New Jersey. She was the sixth child,
and the third daughter in the family of Caleb Ivins, Jr., and Edith Ridgeway Ivins. Her
grandfather, Caleb Ivins, was a prosperous man, beloved by all who knew him. Rachel's father
died when she was six years old and her mother, when Rachel was nine. Her family was
separated, and Rachel lived first with her grandfather on her father's side and later with her
cousin, Joshua Wight and his wife, Theodosia. Her grandparents on both sides were Quakers, and
Rachel was brought up under that influence. Her older sister, Anna, the mother of Anthony W.
Ivins, became converted to the Church and prevailed on Rachel to go and hear the elders. She
subsequently read the Book of Mormon, the Voice of Warning, and other tracts. She recorded:
"One day while attending the Baptist Prayer Meeting, our pastor admonished me for the course I
was taking and said that if I did not stop going to the Mormon meetings, I could not hold my seat
in the Baptist Church, and they would be obliged to disfellowship me for listening to false
doctrine." This seemed to settle the question in her mind, and she soon gave her name for
baptism, saying: "Oh, what joy filled my being! I can sing all day long and rejoice in the promises
of the gospel." About this time she met the Prophet Joseph Smith and Brother Jedediah M. Grant,
her future husband. In 1842 she went with her cousins, the Ivinses, to Nauvoo, where she became
well-acquainted with the Prophet. She left this description of him: "He was a fine, noble-looking
man, always so neat. When he was preaching, you could feel the influence and power. He was not
at home very much. He was always so jolly and happy, different in that respect from his brother,
Hyrum, who was more sedate and more serious."
Her first year in Nauvoo was a very happy one. The second year, turmoil grew more pronounced
and culminated in the martyrdom of the Prophet and the Patriarch. Rachel finally concluded to go
back to New Jersey, which she did, and in 1853 the Ivinses decided to go to Utah and invited her
to go with them. What to do was the question. Her brothers tried to prevail on her to remain in the
East, offering to settle upon her an annual income for life if she would renounce the hated religion
of Mormonism. After prayerful consideration, she decided to cast her lot with the pioneers in the
West. As a result, she was destined to know sorrow and poverty, but the day never came when
she regretted her decision. The trip across the plains was surprisingly pleasant. The party traveled
in comparative comfort. For several years Rachel had suffered from an annoying cough which
threatened to develop into tuberculosis, but the journey cleared up every symptom of lung
trouble, and never after was she afflicted with it. She and her relatives arrived in Salt Lake City,
August 10, 1853. Jedediah M. Grant took them to his home and provided for their immediate
necessities. According to the legend, Rachel had been in the valley nearly two years when Jeddy
invited her to go for a ride and explained to her that President Young had asked him to marry her
for time and have her sealed to the Prophet Joseph for eternity. She consented to this and became
Jedediah M. Grant's seventh wife. She was married to him in 1855, and on November 22, 1856,
her son, Heber, was born and was but nine days old when his father died. These were grave days
for Rachel. With the exception of her older sister, Anna, her only kin in the Church was this child.
He was all she had to live for and to work for.
She lived to the advanced age of eighty-nine and died one of the most highly esteemed and
universally loved women in the community. All the subsequent days of her tranquil Me were
closely interwoven with those of her son. It is gratifying to know that this boy lived to add honor
and luster to the name of the father he had never known and to make glad and happy all the
remaining years of his widowed mother.
CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH
SINCE Rachel Grant was left a widow at the age of thirty-five, she found it necessary to support
herself and to care for her infant son. She had been reared under affluent circumstances. Never
before had she felt the pressure of want, but when it came, she did not complain. There was a
native nobility about her which reverses and hard circumstances could not subdue.
Notwithstanding her poverty she moved with ease and confidence among the best and most
prosperous people of that day. She was sometimes hired to go into a home and to sew for a
family, and she would take her little boy with her; then she might be invited as a dinner guest for
an evening party in the same home.
Heber led the life of a normal boy. During the years of his childhood, his mother supported
herself and him by sewing and by taking in boarders, and only through the most rigid economy
was she able "to make ends meet. „ She told him that she would take care of him while he was
young, and he could take care of her when she was old. He recalled days of scarcity when four
pounds of sugar was the family supply for a year, when flour cost $18.00 a hundred, and when
butter was an almost unknown luxury. He remembered a Christmas when his mother wept
because she had no money to buy him a stick of candy.
There was a very close companionship between Heber and his mother. Naturally she became the
dominant influence in shaping his life. Her prayers were a source of inspiration to him in his
childhood and in his manhood. One of the most stimulating influences in his life was the great
faith which she had in his future. She made him feel that he would become a man among men, a
success in business, and a leader of the Church, if he would do what was right.
Heber J. Grant was a child of destiny. For years his mother cherished in her heart promises which
were made to him in his childhood. She had perfect faith in the fulfilment of those promises, if he
lived worthy of them and only on that condition.
Referring to his mother, Heber said, "My mother always told me: 'Behave yourself, Heber, and
some day you will be an Apostle. If you do not behave yourself, you will not be because we have
in a revelation recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, the following statement: "There is a law
irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of the world upon which all blessings are
predicated and when we obtain any blessing from God it is by obedience to that law upon which
it is predicated.'" I said, 'Mother get it out of your head. I do not want to be an Apostle; I do not
want to be a bishop; I do not want to be anything but a businessman. Just get it out of your head/
After I was called to be an Apostle, she asked me about the meeting where this blessing was
given and whether I remembered it, and I said, 'No, I do not remember anything only that when
Aunt Zina was talking she said, "You will become a great man in the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ." She said, 'That is the reason I
have told you to behave yourself. I knew it would not come true if you did not live worthily, but it
has come true/ Then she said, 'Do you remember Heber C. Kimball picking you up when you
were a young boy and putting you on a table and talking to you at a great dinner he was having
with a lot of his friends?' 'Yes/ 'Do you remember anything he said?' 'No, I only remember that he
had the blackest eyes I ever looked into. I was frightened, that is all I can remember/ 'He
prophesied in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that you would become an Apostle of the Lord
Jesus Christ and become a greater man in the Church than your own father, and your father, as
you know, became one of the counselors to President Brigham Young. That is why I have told
you to behave/ :
Heber longed for a college education but was denied that opportunity. However, he attended the
best schools they had at that time and received a good training for business. This is his own frank
account of his school days:
"The first school I ever attended was the Doremus School where the old adobe knitting works
stood. I got whipped once for telling the truth — one of the bigger boys gave me a mauling
because I told the truth about him. I was sent up twice to be whipped by Brother Doremus. Both
times I ought not to have been. The second time I was to be whipped, instead of going upstairs I
ran home. Brother Doremus taught upstairs, and Sister Doremus had the little children
downstairs. I was then living in the Main Street home. The first time I was whipped was the only
time I was ever upstairs.
"When any child had to be whipped, they had what seemed to me to be a great big willow, but I
guess it was a little switch. I was told to go up there again but did not do it. I ran home and was
nearly exhausted for fear someone was after me. I told Mother all about it and that I ought not to
have been whipped because it was not my fault, and she fixed it so that I could return to school
without being whipped. I remember that they gave little prizes, and I was given a prize which was
a piece of paper about three or four inches long and about an inch and a half wide with one word,
'Truthful/ in blue ink, well printed. I saved it until after I was married; I prized it very highly.
"After the Doremus School I attended a school in a small dwelling on West Temple Street just
below the center of the block where the Grant Brothers' livery stable was built. Matthias F.
Cowley's mother was the teacher. I afterwards went to the Brigham Young schoolhouse where
Sister Granville was the teacher. Orson Whitney and others were pupils there. I was baptized in
the font behind Brigham Young's schoolhouse. ... I think the font was far enough south that when
they made First Avenue they had to tear down the font.
"The fall I became nine, Mother and I went to St. George for the winter, and I remember that I
went to school there in a tent. We traveled to St. George in a wagon. It was just after the October
conference. Aunt Anna and Cousin Tone had come up to conference, and we went back with
them. The first night we stopped at Brother Standring's — Rebecca Standring's, who was
afterwards the president of the Relief Society — Edwin, I think was his name. The next night I
think we stayed in Spanish Fork, and the next night at Salt Creek (Nephi), the next night Round
Valley (Scipio), the next night Cedar Springs (Holden). I do not know where we stopped the
following night; it was Meadow or Corn Creek. Then the next night it seems to me we camped in
Wildcat Canyon. There was no Cove Fort then. We slept on the ground. They had been telling
Indian stories. It was a beautiful moonlight night, and I do not think I went to sleep until after
midnight. I was sure that I saw Indians crawling around in the sagebrush. The next night we
stayed at Beaver, then Red Creek (Parowan), the next night Cedar City, the next Kanarra, from
there to Toquerville. We then went to St. George. We stayed there about six months, and my
teacher, I believe, was a Sister Everett. A man by the name of McGregor also had a school. Tone
(Anthony W. Ivins) went to him; he was four years older than I.
"People went to St. George because it was pleasant. President Brigham Young built a house there,
and he spent the winter months in St. George. They built a cotton factory, a three-story log
building; it is standing there now. I carried one end of the chain to survey the ditch to the cotton
factory, and Tone the other.
"I also went to Camilla Cobb to school before I went to the university. She had a private school,
south of the Social Hall. After that I attended the university. I attended the university when the
school was in a building that afterwards became the Deseret Museum, where Richards Street now
"A man by the name of Milton H. Hardy, who afterwards had charge of the State Mental Hospital
at Provo, and a girl by the name of Young who lived on First South, and Sarah Francis Young,
were the teachers. It was upstairs, and a number of us went there, and we had no teacher; we had
to go up to the Council House to give our lessons, so we had a monitor to keep the boys quiet.
Oscar Young was the monitor. There was a boy there we called 'Little Pill/ His father was a
homeopathic doctor. As I was going in for a lesson one day, I saw him with a slate, pencil, and
sponge. They had a vessel on top of the stove that had moisture in it. He squeezed some hot water
on my seat for me to sit in. I saw him doing it and jumped back, and then sat down and straddled
the water. Then I took my sponge and soaked up the water that was on my seat and rushed over to
his seat and put it there. As I did it, he called Oscar Young's attention to what I was doing. Oscar
said to me: 'Mop that water up; mop it up!'
' 'Hold on,' I said; 'he put it on my seat first and I brought it back to him/
"Oscar turned to him and said: 'Did you put that water on his seat first? You are a scrub to
complain on him; you mop it up' and he picked him up, set him on the bench, and he rubbed it up.
"After that four or five of us decided to send this 30 boy home sick. We had read somewhere that
if you tell a person long enough that he is sick, it will make him sick. So, for four of five days we
said: 'Why don't you go home? Look in the looking-glass, you're sick,' and he did go home sick.
"Dr. Park, president of the university, was called on a mission, but his health failed him, so he
came back and was installed again as its president. In the meantime the Cook sisters were made
managers of the university; Miss Ida came over to the Council House, and Miss Mary stayed at
the Social Hall. They had an examination, and those with certain marks were to be promoted to
the university, and those who failed from the university were to go to the Social Hall, which was
part of the university then. I went up to the university.
"Miss Ida expelled me from school because I hit Heber Wells in the back before school started.
She told me to go and take my seat. I said: 'School is not opened yet, Miss Ida, and I will come in
at nine o'clock.'
"She said: You go and take that seat or go home.'
"I said: 'I will go home.'
"Then she said, 'I expel you from school,' and Miss Ida, of course, hadn't understood the situation.
Heber was studying a piece in which there was the sentence: A blow, a blow, a bloody blow,' and
he came up and hit me in the back and made that expression. I waited until he sat down, and I
went up and hit him in the back and said: 'His brother, his brother,' and just as I hit him, Miss
Cook saw me. Mother called and told her I was broken-hearted, and she sent for me to come
Mother cried and felt so bad when I told her I was expelled from school, that I promised her I
never would be expelled again, that I would make any apology that was asked for, and I would go
back and behave myself very well.
"For three or four months I never whispered once, and then one day Miss Ida kept the whole
school in for whispering and told us to study. I was so mad to be kept in when I hadn't whispered
at all that I didn't study; I just sat there. She saw me sitting there. Finally some of the boys lifted
their hands and asked to go out, and she let first one and then another go. Finally, I lifted my
hand. She said: 'Keep your seat.'
"I said: If the odiers can go out, so can I.' I got up to go, and we met at the top of the stairs. She
grabbed me by the collar, and I stepped two or three steps down, she still holding onto my collar.
I lifted my feet; I knew she couldn't hold my weight. Then she moved to go around me, and I
made a bound and lit on the bottom of the first platform, and she lit on top of me, and she never
let go of her grip. Just then Mary Cook came in and said: 'Expel him from school.'
"I remembered Mother, and commenced crying and begged her pardon so they didn't expel me,
and I went back upstairs." 1
Heber had an ambition for a college education, a degree from some great school, but he had to
care for his widowed mother and he had no money with which to do this and to go to college; so
this, he thought, was one of his cherished hopes he would have to abandon.
About this time an unexpected opportunity came. He related:
"I met President George Q. Cannon, then our delegate to Congress, and he said: 'Would you like
to go to the Naval Academy, or to West Point?'
"I told him I would.
"He said: 'Which one?'
"I said, 'The Naval Academy/
" All right, I will give you the appointment without competitive examination/
"For the first time in my life I did not sleep well; I lay awake nearly all night long rejoicing that
the ambition of my life was to be fulfilled. I fell asleep just a little before daylight; my mother had
to awaken me.
"I said: 'Mother, what a marvelous thing it is that I am to have an education as fine as that of any
young man in all Utah. I could hardly sleep; I was awake until almost daylight this morning/
"I looked into her face; I saw that she had been weeping.
"I have heard of people, who when drowning, had their entire life pass before them in a few
seconds. I saw myself an admiral, in my mind's eye. I saw myself traveling all over the world in a
ship, away from my widowed mother. I laughed and put my arms around her and kissed her and
said, 'Mother, I do not want a naval education. I am going to be a businessman and shall enter an
office right away and take care of you and have you quit keeping boarders for a living/
"She broke down and wept and said that she had not closed her eyes, but had prayed all night that
I would give up my life's ambition so that she would not be left alone." 2
Her prayers were answered, and her appeal to the Almighty was inspired by promises made to her
son in his childhood by those she looked upon as being the servants of God.
After declining the appointment to Annapolis he made up his mind to be a businessman and went
to work. That was the end of his formal schooling. He soon became absorbed in his business
affairs, but he utilized every spare moment of his time reading and improving his mind. As he
read, it was his practice to mark passages that impressed him and to pass the book along to some
friend. Many books that he gave away were "marked copies," which added to their value. When
he became an Apostle, he had more and better opportunities for reading. He often had one of his
daughters or his secretary read to him, especially in his later years. Thus he kept well-informed on
current issues. While he had but few scholastic credentials, Heber J. Grant was well-educated.
AMONG the richest legacies bequeathed to the . world by Heber J. Grant is the record of his
achievements. In his childhood he gave promise of the splendid accomplishments that crowned
his long and wonderful life.
The words of Bulwer-Lytton: "Dream, O youth; dream nobly and manfully, and your dreams
shall be your prophets ! " stirred his soul.
He dreamed nobly and manfully. He charted his way, set up objectives, and with a firm and
resolute hand he steered his course toward his goal. There was no listless drifting with the tide, no
careless floating downstream. His ends were worthy; his objectives were clear; and his efforts
were strong and effective. In the struggles of his childhood for excellence in the games which he
played, and in the events of his illustrious life the power to hold steadfastly to his purposes
seemed pre-eminent. There was no wasted effort due to doubt or indecision. The straight pursuit
of a definite goal is an economy of the rarest kind. The will, the determination, or whatever
mental quality it is which impels one to action is the secret of achievement; we shall see that
Heber J. Grant had this quality in a glorified degree.
In his later life he wrote:
"As a boy of seventeen I dreamed about my future life — what I was going to do until I became
thirty-five years of age; planned it and worked for it. The moment I was called to go to Tooele I
said good-by to all my plans. I had never thought of holding a Church position. I had other plans;
I had planned everything I was going to do and where I was going to get, and from the time I was
seventeen until I was twenty-four years old, I accomplished every one of the things that I had
planned to do and had dreamed about and worked for. I never would have done so without
planning. We do not accomplish things without having the idea. No architect ever draws a plan of
a building who has not in his mind an idea of what he is going to draw." 1
The ambitions and ideals of his youth clearly foreshadowed the achievements of his manhood.
All the things his childhood prophesied were realized in his after-years. Those who knew him
must have discerned in this frail but fair-faced youth characteristics that would some day make
him distinguished. In these expectations they were not disappointed.
After the death of his father, Jedediah M. Grant, the property on Main Street was sold and the
money divided among the Grant heirs — $500.00 of which came to his mother, Rachel Grant.
With this money she purchased a little house on Second East. It must have been a very humble
place in which to live. Her son records how as a child, six years of age, he felt about this
"I well remember coming home from school one night after Mother had moved to Second East.
Nobody was in the old house on Main Street. You had to step down one step to the lawn. I sat on
the ground and cried and then jumped up and shook my fist at the place and said, 'When I am a
man I will buy you back.'
He must have often thought of that resolve, when years afterwards he formed a syndicate and
bought $350,000 of Z.C.M.I. stock. He came very close to fulfilling his early promise.
The story of some of his youthful achievements are delightfully told in his own words:
"As I was an only child, my mother reared me very carefully. Indeed, I grew up more or less
under the principles of a hothouse plant, a growth which is long and lengthy but not substantial. I
learned to sweep and to wash and wipe dishes but did little stone throwing and little indulgence in
works which are interesting to boys, which develop their physical frames. Therefore, when I
joined the baseball club the boys of my own age and a little older played in the first nine, those
younger than I played in the second, and those still younger, in the third, and I played with them.
One of the reasons for this was that I could not throw the ball from one base to another, and
another reason was that I lacked the strength to run or bat the ball. When I picked up the ball, the
boys would generally shout, Throw it here, sissy!' So much fun was engendered on my account
by my youthful companions that I solemnly vowed that I would play baseball in the nine that
would win the championship in the territory of Utah. My mother was keeping boarders for a
living at the time, and I shined their boots until I saved a dollar which I invested in a baseball and
spent hours and hours throwing the ball at Bishop Edwin D. Woolley's barn, which caused him to
refer to me as the laziest boy in the Thirteenth Ward. Often my arm would ache so that I could
scarcely go to sleep at night, but I kept on practicing and finally succeeded in getting into the
second nine of our club. Subsequently, I joined a better club and eventually played in the nine
that won the championship in California, Colorado, and Wyoming, and thus made good my
promise to myself and retired from the baseball arena/' 2
When he could not sleep because his arm ached as a result of throwing the ball, his mother would
wrap it with bandages dipped in cold water to relieve the pain. A wise and marvelous mother,
"Referring to that wonderful mother of mine, I remember that one day we had at least a half-
dozen, if not more, buckets on the floor catching the rain that came from the roof. It was raining
very heavily, and Bishop Edwin D. Woolley came into the house and said, 'Why, Widow Grant,
this will never do. I shall take some of the money from the fast offering and put a new roof on this
house.' 'Oh, no, you won't,' said Mother, 'no relief money will ever put a roof on my house. I have
sewing here,' and she said, 'I have supported myself and my son with a needle and thread for
many years,' and later with a Wheeler and Wilcox sewing machine. (I had to be mighty careful
not to take hold of a thread and pull it, for I might have my clothes fall off. They had not learned
how to fasten the stitches with the machine, but later they made a sewing machine that overcame
this difficulty.) Then Mother said, 'When I get through with this sewing that I'm doing now, I will
buy some shingles and patch the holes in the roof, and this house will take care of me until my
son gets to be a man and builds me a new one.' Bishop Woolley went away and said he was very
sorry for Widow Grant and that if she waited for that boy to build a house she would never have
one, for he was the laziest boy in the whole Thirteenth Ward. He went on to tell how I wasted my
time throwing a ball across the fence behind the house hour after hour, day after day, and week
after week at his adobe barn. Thank the Lord for a mother who was a general as well as a Latter-
day Saint, who realized that it is a remarkable and splendid thing to encourage a boy to do
something besides, perhaps milking cows, if he was on a farm, or encourage him if he had
ambitions along athletic lines."
One day Heber was playing marbles with some other boys when the bookkeeper from the Wells
Fargo Company Bank was walking down the other side of the street. One of the boys remarked,
"That man gets $150.00 a month." Heber figured to himself that not counting Sundays, that man
made $6.00 a day and that at five cents a pair, he would have to black 120 pairs of boots to make
$6.00. He there and then resolved that some day he would be a bookkeeper in the Wells
Fargo and Company's bank. In those days all the records and accounts of the bank were written
with a pen, and one of the requisites of a good bookkeeper was the ability to write well. To learn
to write well was his first approach to securing this job and the fulfilment of his resolve; so he set
to work to become a penman.
At the beginning his penmanship was so poor that when two of his chums were looking at it one
said to the other, "That writing looks like hen tracks." "No," said the other, "it looks as if
lightning had struck an ink bottle." This touched Heber's pride and, bringing his fist down on his
desk, he said, "I'll some day be able to give you fellows lessons in penmanship," and he was.
He wrote greeting cards, wedding cards, insurance policies, stock certificates, and legal
documents. He said, "I once made $20.00 on New Year's Day by writing forty dozen cards with
(Happy New Year) and a man's name written in the corner. The next New Year's Day I made
$37.50 in five hours. I wrote on fifty dozen cards the words, 'Happy New Year,' and sold them
and had to write more."
When Heber, still in his teens, was working as a policy clerk in the office of H. R. Mann and Co.,
he was offered three times his salary to go to San Francisco as a penman. He later became teacher
of penmanship and bookkeeping at the University of Deseret (University of Utah).
George D. Pyper wrote of him, "He was a teacher of penmanship and bookkeeping at the
University of Deseret, which was located on the corner of First North and Second West Streets in
Salt Lake City. I was a student and recall his going from seat to seat inspecting the work of
pupils. His style became my model. Many sheets of paper were used up with his copy before me."
At one of the territorial fairs in which he had not competed, he noticed the exhibits of four
professional penmen. He remarked to the man in charge of the art department that he could write
better than that before he was seventeen years of age. The man in charge laughed and said that
nobody but a cheeky insurance agent would make such a remark. He handed the gentleman three
dollars which was the fee necessary to compete for a diploma and sent for the specimen which he
had written before he was seventeen and hung it up with the remark, "If you judges know good
penmanship, when you see it, I will get the diploma." He walked away with a diploma for the best
penmanship in the territory. He encouraged the art of good penmanship among the youth of Zion
and offered many prizes for the best specimens.
He secured a position as bookkeeper and policy clerk in an insurance office at fifteen. About this
he said: "I wrote a very nice hand, and that was all that was needed to satisfactorily fill the
position which I then had. Yet I was not fully satisfied but continued to dream and scribble when
not otherwise occupied. I worked in the front part of A. W. White and Company's bank and when
not busy volunteered to assist with the bank work and to do anything and everything I could to
employ my time, never thinking whether I was to be paid for it or not, but having only a desire to
work and learn. Mr. Morfe, the bookkeeper in the bank, wrote well and
took pains to assist me in my efforts to become efficient as a penman. I learned to write well, so
well, that I often made more before and after office hours by writing cards, invitations, and
making maps than the amount of my regular salary. At nineteen I was keeping books and acting
as policy clerk for Henry Wadsworth, the agent of Wells Fargo and Company. My time was not
fully employed, and I was not working for the company but for the agent personally. I did the
same as I had done in Mr. White's bank, volunteered to file a lot of bank letters, etc., and kept a
set of books for the Sandy Smelting Company, which Mr. Wadsworth was doing personally. My
actions so pleased Mr. Wadsworth that he employed me to do the collecting for Wells Fargo and
Company and paid me $20.00 a month for this work in addition to my regular compensation of
$75.00 from the insurance business. Thus I was in the employ of Wells Fargo and Company and
one of my day-dreams had become a reality.
"When New Year's Eve arrived, I was in the office quite late writing calling cards. Mr.
Wadsworth came in and pleasantly remarked that business was good and that it never rained but
what it poured or something to that effect. He referred to my having kept the books of the Sandy
Smelting Company without compensation. He said a number of complimentary things which
made me very happy. He then handed me a check for $100.00 which doubly compensated me for
all my extra work. The satisfaction enjoyed in feeling that I had won the good will and confidence
of my employer was worth more to me than twice $100.00."
As another means of developing himself, Heber played marbles in the spring. In this game, as
well as in all others in which he took part, he became an expert. "Knuckle-down-Boston" was a
popular game in those days. The boys would make a large ring on the ground with a stick and
place the marbles in the middle of it. Then with knuckles on the line at the edge, they would shoot
at the marbles and, if they were playing "keeps," the winner would keep all the marbles he
knocked out of the ring. Heber was an adept player of this game, and his pockets frequently
bulged with his winnings. His chief competitor and stout contender was Injun Charlie, an Indian
boy adopted by Nelson Empey. Of course, they both played "Knuckle-down-Boston" with other
boys in their neighborhood, but the playing of these two experts became notable and drew a large
gallery of spectators. His early business instincts were revealed when, with his marble winnings,
he would hire other boys in the neighborhood to do his chores.
It was circumstances such as this that caused Bishop Woolley to describe him as the laziest boy in
the Thirteenth Ward. The bishop, seeing other boys working around Widow Grant's place,
supposed that she had to hire the chores done because her own coddled son was not disposed to
do them. What the bishop did not know was that her lazy son was paying to have the work done
out of the rewards of his own skill, and simply demonstrating in his early youth what was later to
be one of Heber's greatest assets, a keen business sense.
He was born with a strong artistic tendency and had in his youth an ardent desire to witness the
performances in the Salt Lake Theatre, but had no money with which to buy the tickets. In 1862
when the theatre was opened his mother was engaged in the costuming department. About that
time he appeared on the stage as one of the pickaninnies in Uncle Toms Cabin. This was his one
and only stage appearance in the Salt Lake Theatre.
He had supernumerated in the Social Hall and had taken part in the dramatic activities of the
Wasatch Literary Association. As a result he became particularly fond of the theatre and, being
unable to pay a third circle price of twenty-five cents, he gained entrance by carrying water in an
improvised five-gallon coal oil can from a deep well behind the Social Hall for the thirsty people
in the third gallery, and he repeated the journey as often as they emptied the can. He was so
faithful in the performance of this chore of water-carrying that he was soon promoted downward
to the second circle. As he grew in years, his boyhood dreams came true, and he became the
principal stockholder of the Salt Lake Theatre and had the privilege of occupying a stage box
with six seats where he could gaze with great satisfaction into the third circle, the rendezvous of
his boyhood days.
George Pyper, writing of this, said: "It is rather an odd coincidence that I, also a young denizen in
the third circle, often looked down upon the white -collared habitues of the parquet and dress
circle and dreamed a dream and wondered if I would be able to pay for a seat downstairs. Then
one day when we were grown up, Heber asked me if I would like to manage the Salt Lake
Theatre. Between gasps I accepted, and for over thirty years we worked together in intimate
association to bring Salt Lake City the best offerings in drama and opera that the country could
afford. That was the Golden Age of drama in Salt Lake, an age that will probably never come
Learning To Sing
"My mother tried to teach me when a small child to sing, but failed because of my inability to
carry a tune. I joined a singing class taught by Professor Charles J. Thomas, who tried and tried in
vain to teach me when ten years of age to run the scale or carry a simple tune, and finally he gave
up in despair. He said that I could never, in this world, learn to sing. Perhaps he thought I might
learn the divine art in another world. Ever since this attempt, I have frequently tried to sing when
riding alone many miles from anyone who might hear me, but on such occasions could never
succeed in carrying the tune of one of our familiar hymns for a single verse, and quite frequently
not for a single line.
"Nearly ten months ago, while listening to Brother Horace S. Ensign sing, I remarked that I
would gladly give two or three months of my spare time if by so doing it would result in my
being able to sing one or two hymns. He answered that any person could learn to sing who had a
reasonably good voice, and who possessed perseverance, and who was willing to do plenty of
practicing. My response was that I had an abundance of voice and considerable perseverance. He
was in my employ at the time, and I jokingly remarked that while he had not been hired as a
music teacher, however, right now I would take my first music lesson of two hours upon the
hymn, 'O My Father/ Much to my surprise, at the end of four or five days, I was able to sing this
hymn with Brother Ensign without any mistakes. At the end of two weeks, I could sing it alone,
with the exception of being a little flat on some of the high notes. My ear, not being cultivated
musically, did not detect this, and the only way I knew of it was by having Brother Ensign and
other friends tell me of the error.
"One of the leading Church officials, upon hearing me sing, when I first started to practice,
remarked that my singing reminded him very much of the late Apostle Orson Pratt's poetry. He
said Brother Pratt wrote only one piece of poetry, and this looked like it had been sawed out of
boards, and sawed off straight.
"At the end of two or three months, I was able to sing not only, 'O My Father,' but 'God Moves in
a Mysterious Way,' 'Come, Come, Ye Saints,' and two or three other hymns. Shortly after this,
while taking a trip South, I sang one or more hymns in each of the Arizona stakes, and in Juarez,
Mexico. Upon my return to Salt Lake City, I attempted to sing 'O My Father,' in the big
Tabernacle, hoping to give an object lesson to young people, and to encourage them to learn to
sing. I made a failure, getting off the key in nearly every verse, and instead of my effort
encouraging the young people, I fear that it tended to discourage them.
"When first starting to practice, if some person would join in and sing bass, tenor or alto, I could
not carry the tune. Neither could I sing if anyone accompanied me on the piano or organ, as the
variety of sounds confused me.
"I am pleased to be able to say that I can now sing with piano or organ accompaniment and can
also sing the lead in 'God Moves in a Mysterious Way,' in a duet, a trio, or quartet. I have learned
quite a number of songs, and have been assured by Brother Ensign, and several others well-
versed in music, to whom I have sung within the past few weeks, that I succeeded without
making a mistake in a single note, which I fear would not be the case, were the attempt to be
made in public. However, I intended to continue trying to sing the hymn, 'O My Father,' in the
Assembly Hall or in the big Tabernacle until such time as I can sing it without error.
"Upon my recent trip to Arizona, I asked Elders Rudger Clawson and J. Golden Kimball if they
had any objections to my singing one hundred hymns that day. They took it as a joke and assured
me that they would be delighted. We were on the way back from Holbrook to St. Johns, a
distance of about sixty miles. After I had sung about forty times, they assured me that if I sang the
remaining sixty they would have nervous prostration. I paid no attention whatever to their appeal
but held them to their bargain and sang the full one hundred. One hundred and fifteen songs in
one day and four hundred in four days, is the largest amount of practicing I ever did.
"Today, my musical deafness is disappearing, and by sitting down to a piano and playing the lead
notes, I can learn a song in less than one-tenth the time required when I first commenced to
His beloved and intimate associate, George D. Pyper, made these comments on the President's
learning to sing:
"President Grant was born with less tune, time, or rhythm than most mortals, yet by his intense
energy and persistance, he overcame this handicap."
The story of his experiences in vocalization is one of the most interesting episodes in his life. He
has many times, in a humorous vein, told of his efforts to learn how to sing.
"President Grant's closest friend, the late Brigadier General Richard W. Young, wrote him from
the Philippine Islands begging him not to lessen his dignity by trying to sing. You can't be the
George Goddard of the Church,' warned Brother Young, and President Grant wrote back to the
effect that he would yet sing in the Tabernacle, and he kept his word. It is doubtful if President
Grant ever seriously studied technique, especially the art of phrasing, accentuation, mood,
expression, except some instruction given him by Horace S. Ensign and Professor Evan Stephens,
yet with his natural learning ability, his perseverance, his toil, added to a personal magnetism and
a fine God-given voice, he was able to sing his Church hymns and such songs as 'The Flag
Without a Stain/ and 'The Holy City,' with such remarkable skill as to elicit compliments from
Professor Evan Stephens. President Grant's experience has been an object lesson in perseverance
and has certainly demonstrated the truth of the adage often quoted by him: 'That which we persist
in doing becomes easier to do; not that the nature of the thing is changed, but our power to do is
increased.' His success in overcoming tone deafness is remarkable. He himself considered it one
of the greatest accomplishments of his life.
"What is more important though, in the opinion of the writer, is not the learning of songs, but the
enthusiasm for the musical art which his continual practice kindled in his heart, thus increasing
his power to aid in the development of music among his people. Note the contribution which he
made to this art: Early in his presidency, he organized the Church Music Committee. Pie declined
the offer of the splendid McCune home for himself, which was made by Mr. and Mrs. Alfred W.
McCune, but he accepted it as a home for the school of music. This home became the McCune
School of Music and Art, while he himself preferred to live in a very humble cottage. It was
under his administration that the Tabernacle Choir Sunday broadcast over nationwide radio
networks was instituted. He helped musicians, he has encouraged the organization of choirs, he
has sponsored the Tabernacle Choir in several trips to California and Chicago and authorized the
Church Music Committee to establish courses of instruction for choristers and organists
throughout the Church. He was indeed a friend of the divine art of music." 4
Developing his own talents was one of his chief objectives and the greatest source of his
accomplishments. He never criticized other men's weaknesses but made war on his own. That
practice has in it the very essence of personal growth. Self-analysis and self-discipline are the
twin virtues that underlie individual development. He engaged in criticism of himself but not of
AS a young man Heber J. Grant proceeded with boldness to play a large role in the economic
history of his people. He was a pioneer in industry, second only to Brigham Young. Pioneering in
industry requires much the same sturdy qualities that pioneering new lands requires: faith, vision,
imagination, patience, and fortitude, backed by a determination that knows no failure. Heber J.
Grant had all of these qualities.
A boyhood associate, Heber M. Wells, said this of him: "He has probably been instrumental in
establishing and furthering the cause of more successful inter-mountain industries than any other
man of his time. His personal credit, his unquestioned integrity, his super-salesmanship brought
capital to the aid of the Church, the community, and private enterprises. In times of panic and in
times of plenty Heber J. Grant has been able to raise a few dollars or millions where other men
have failed to raise any amount. This has been done largely by his personal guarantee and
persuasion. He has never repudiated or failed to pay a dollar of obligation for which he was
directly or indirectly responsible, legally or morally, and the result is that today,
as during all the many decades since he was a young man, he can walk into the offices of
executives and directors of great financial institutions in America and be affectionately greeted by
men who are proud to know him as a friend and a leader of financial industries." 1
Home industry was almost a passion with him. He fostered every enterprise that he thought would
aid in making the people independent and self-sustaining.
His interest in local business undertakings is shown by the number of enterprises in which he was
engaged. Ranching, cattle -raising, vinegar-manufacturing, soap-making, bee culture,
merchandising, implement business, sugar industry, livery business, insurance, banking,
brokerage, newspaper business were among his ventures. He never was engaged in any business
that was not stimulated by his connection with it.
Nor was he ever engaged in any business or enterprise that was not worthy of public support. His
motives were to help the people, create employment, advance the interests of the Church, and
build up the community. In many of these enterprises he hoped to make money. He loved to make
money. He said so. Not for selfish purposes but so he could share with others, so he could foster
worthy causes and help those who deserved and needed it. His purposes were always
commendable, and his business associates were of high repute.
Prominent among the great enterprises with which he was actively identified was banking. Before
he was twenty-one years of age, he was made assistant cashier of Zion's Savings Bank. Brigham
Young was then president of the bank as well as President of the Church. The bank was in its
infancy, and in addition to filling the office of assistant cashier, Heber J. Grant was janitor,
paying and receiving teller, note teller, and bookkeeper. This is what he said about it: "I opened
the bank promptly at ten o'clock and closed promptly at three p.m. I had to give a bond of
$25,000 vouching for my honesty. I walked to the office of President Brigham Young, and just as
he opened the door with his cape on his arm, I said, 'President Young, as you know, the other day
I was elected assistant cashier of Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company, and they require a
bond of $25,000 to guarantee my honesty. I thought it would be a very appropriate thing for the
president of the bank to sign my bond, and I have come up for your signature/ He smiled and
said, 'Heber, I do not see how in the world I could get out of signing your bond. I said so many
good things about you at the directors' meeting that if I refused to sign your bond they would
accuse me of not telling the truth.' He remarked that it would be a real pleasure to sign it and that
he would have his clerk make it out. 'But,' said he, 'I have had a very busy day, and I am just
going out for a ride. My carriage is waiting for me.' He never lived to sign the bond. He died in a
few days." 2
After Heber M. Wells, the first governor of Utah under statehood, retired from the city recorder's
office, he expressed regret to President Grant that he had not learned more about business instead
of spending his time working for the city. Whereupon the President suggested that he would go
out and try to start a bank with a capital of $250,000 as a business enterprise. He did go out to
raise the capital, but his friends insisted on making the capital $500,000, which he felt was a
mistake. He raised practically the entire capital of $500,000 and there was not a single dollar of
promotion fees in it. The new bank was named the State Bank of Utah and was opened in the
spring of 1890 with Heber J. Grant as president and Heber M. Wells as cashier. But through
circumstances beyond human control its life was short and precarious, for the year following its
organization the panic of 1891 got under way. Its president, Heber J. Grant, lost everything and,
to use his own words, "became more than $100,000 worse off than nothing."
The story of how he saved the State Bank of Utah and Zion's Savings Bank through the prolonged
and disastrous panic of 1891, 1892 and 1893 is an interesting story. Here is the account of it as he
"I made a trip in 1891 to New York to try to sell $100,000 of Zion's Cooperative Mercantile
Institution notes owned by the State Bank of Utah. Money was then lending on the New York
Stock Exchange at one half of one per cent a day — 182/2 per cent per year.
"Before starting, I was talking with President Woodruff, who knew why I was going. He smiled
and said, You are going East on a very difficult mission. Sit down on this chair and let me give
you a blessing/ 1 sat down, and he gave me a wonderful blessing, stating that I would get all the
money I needed and more would be offered to me if I needed it. I went out with a feeling of
perfect assurance that I would be successful.
"I heard that the directors of the Deseret National Bank were laughing at the idea of my being
foolish enough to think I could cash Z.C.M.I. notes in the East at six per cent per annum when
money was a half of one per cent a day.
"I stopped at Omaha and asked the president of the Omaha National Bank, a fine gentleman by
the name of Millard, to cash one note of $12,000. He laughed and said: 'The idea of your coming
down here trying to get money when it is half of one per cent a day. Your bank is as well fixed
financially, if not better, than ours. Young man, let me give you some advice. You go home, call
all your banking friends together, and decide to lend a little more than would be considered
strictly safe, and the money will circulate around and come back into your bank again, and you
can take care of your own bank.'
"I told him it was money I was after and not advice, that I had to go East for $100,000, and that I
intended to get it, and I would stop on my way home and tell him where I got it.
"He said, 'Well, Mr. Grant, it will be quite a long while before I see you/
"When I got to Chicago, I asked the vice president
of the Merchants Loan and Trust Company to cash
two notes for $12,000 each. He did not even invite me
to come into the bank. I stood outside of the counter.
He smiled at my asking him for a loan and declined to
cash these two notes. He said, Young man, have you
read the morning papers?'
"I said: 'Certainly/
" 'Have you read the financial sheet?'
"I said: Yes/ 'What is money loaning at in New York?'
"I answered, 'One-half of one per cent a day/ Well, do you expect to get any money at six percent
"I said: 'Yes, I do because that is the rate you charge your customers if their balances are good
enough to justify your making loans/
"He said: 'Young man, how long have you been in the banking business?'
" 'Our bank is not quite a year old/
' 'I have been in the banking business all my life and my father before me. Let me give you some
advice/ And he gave me the same advice that Mr. Millard of Omaha had given.
"I said: 'I did not come to Chicago to get that advice; I had the same advice from the president of
the Omaha National. I told him I would stop on my way home and tell him where I got the
money. I will do the same with you/
"He smiled and said he did not expect to see me for a long time.
"When I got to New York, I doubled again my request and asked the vice president of the
National Park Bank to take four notes of $12,000 each-$48,000.
"He said: 'Why, Mr. Grant, the idea of your coming into this bank with a panic on and money
lending at one -half of one per cent a day and expecting to get a loan of $48,000 when we have
never met before "I said: Would you mind giving me a sheet of paper?'
"He handed me one and I wrote my name on it the entire size of the paper, and I brought my fist
down on my signature and said: 'Do you know my signature?'
"He said: Yes/
"I said: 1 did not come in here, sir, as a "gold brick" man, a stranger to you. You know my
signature; your bank solicited us to open a bank account. You do not seem to know how to treat a
customer decently. I will tell you how we do business in the wild and wooly west. If a man offers
us a note, if it does not suit us, we let him talk to our committee and see if he cannot furnish some
additional securities or endorsements so we could be justified in making the loan.'
1 'As a rule,' he said, 'we do not allow anyone to meet with our committee; we only allow
applications to be made in writing; they are very busy.'
"I said, All right. Give me another piece of paper, please, and I will write a letter to your
committee. When do they meet?'
"He said: 'Within a half hour.' And as nearly as I can remember (I did not keep a copy of the
letter) my letter read about as follows: 'I am asking you to cash four notes of the Zion's
Cooperative Mercantile Institution of $12,000 each. They have never failed to meet their
obligations from the day the institution was organized. They are not in distress financially; their
notes will be paid. Our bank is in distress because of the panic, and the notes belong to our bank.
We bought these notes without endorsement but knowing there was
a panic on, I endorsed all of the notes, and I got twelve other directors to do the same, so you
have the endorsement of thirteen men on these notes, and these men are worth more than a
million dollars. Now if you want some more endorsements, I can get them for you. You have the
endorsement of the bank that is in distress selling these notes; their capital is $500,000. If you do
not want to buy a note guaranteed by thirteen reputable men and a bank of a half million dollars
capital, take my advice and do not do business so far away from home/
"I signed my name to it and when the committee met and the president of the bank saw the notes
(I had left them with the vice president) he said: 'What? Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution
with all-seeing eyes in the corner, and 'Holiness to the Lord' printed over it? That is good for sore
eyes. When I was the third assistant cashier of this bank, it was my business by instruction of the
president to purchase commercial paper that was for sale, and I was instructed to buy all the notes
offered of Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, and I haven't seen one of their notes now for
about ten years; they have got in a position where they do not need any help from us. We must
not fail to buy these notes from Mr. Grant.'
"So I got my money.
"Then I went to H. B. Chaflin and Company and asked Mr. John Chaflin if he would not cash five
of Z.C.M.I. notes of $5,000 each for our bank, explaining that our bank was in distress, but
Z.C.M.I. was not. He said: It will be a pleasure to do that for you, Mr. Grant.'
"I then went to Kuntz Brothers Bank and asked them to lend me $25,000. They said: 'Mr. Grant,
you have never done any business with our bank, and we have all we can do to take care of our
"I said: 'Yes, but the name of Mr. Lewis S. Hills, the president of Deseret Bank, is on the back of
these notes, and he is your customer, and he has written to you suggesting that you buy some
Z.C.M.I. notes from our bank, and saying that he knows they are good. I have got all of the
directors guaranteeing them."
"He said, 'Well, you don't do business with us, but I will take $15,000 of them.'
"I said: 'All right. I won't split hairs with you.' "I immediately sat down and wrote the following
letter to Mr. Orson Smith of Chicago, vice president of the Merchants Loan and Trust Company:
'Dear Mr. Smith: I have been here forty-eight hours, and I have $88,000. Can I send you the
remaining $12,000 note? Kindly wire at my expense to H. B. Chaflin Company and ask them if
they have loaned me $25,000 at 6 per cent; the National Park Bank, $48,000; Kuntz Brothers,
$15,000; and wire if I can count on you for the other $12,000 that I need to make up the
"I did not think he would say yes, and I thought I would change my bank account when I went
home. He telegraphed: 'Send the note.'
"Then I succeeded through my insurance friends in Hartford and in New York in borrowing a lot
of money without the endorsement of our bank and without individual endorsements except my
own. They all said: Why, Mr. Grant, we want you to sign this note.'
"I said: 1 cannot pay it, but I know it will be paid, and I am willing to sign it.'
"I borrowed $336,000, as I remember it, all told. Just before going to the train to go home, I
received a telegram: We need $48,000 more/ 1 felt sure it was a mistake, that they did not need it.
I started for Chicago and wired to one of my insurance friends in Hartford, and he made
arrangements to get another $48,000 if I needed it after I got home. After I got home, it was not
needed, and therefore it was never borrowed.
"From the day that President Woodruff blessed me and said I would get all the money I was
going for and more if I needed it, I had a perfect assurance in my heart that his promise would be
fulfilled, and it was fulfilled to the very letter.
"When I got back to Chicago, I stopped and told Orson Smith, vice president of the Merchants
Loan and Trust Company, of getting the money, and he congratulated me and invited me to come
in behind the counter. When I got to Omaha, I stopped and told Mr. Millard, as I had promised to
do, and told him what I had done, that I got the $336,000. He immediately telephoned to the vice
president and manager of the Union Pacific Railroad and said: 'Come down to the bank, I want to
introduce you to a young man.' He said: 'I want him to meet the vice president of the Union
Pacific Railroad, and the manager of the Union Pacific Railroad ought to meet a fellow who can
get $336,000 at six per cent with money at half of one per cent a day.'
"I had a very pleasant visit with him. I cannot remember his name at this late date."
It was during those trying days that Heber J. Grant demonstrated his capacity to meet any
emergency. Through his heroic endeavor, and against the most fearful odds, he prevented banks
from being forced to close their doors when dieir deposits were melting like snow under an
August sun. In 1912 the Utah State National Bank w T as created through the consolidation of
three banks, the State Bank of Utah being one of the three merged institutions. No history of the
Utah State National Bank (now the Utah First National Bank of Salt Lake City) could be
truthfully written without giving grateful acknowledgment to Heber J. Grant for his helpful
influence. Under his leadership it grew steadily in resources and influence until it became one of
the strong banks of the country. For years he was president of the Utah State National Bank. He
knew banking and the service which a sound bank should render and was a staunch supporter of
this great enterprise in the state of Utah.
In August, 1889, twenty-eight citizens of Utah became the incorporators and stockholders in the
Utah-Idaho Sugar Company at Lehi. This was the first factory in America to be erected with
American-made machinery by American workmen. The establishment of that sugar factory
marked the beginning of an industry that has brought millions of dollars to the West and added
value to every acre of land near a factory. It owes its very existence to Heber J. Grant and
President Wilford Woodruff. This factory was situated in Lehi. The contract was given to C. H.
Meyers and Company to erect it at a cost of $400,000. Soon after this contract was signed, the
panic of 1891 came, and many of the subscribers were unable to meet their commitments. In
January, 1891, a special committee was appointed to complete the factory. Heber J. Grant, then
thirty-five years of age, was made a member of that committee. This was his introduction to the
sugar business. It was a significant day for that industry when he became identified with it. No
other individual in the state of Utah gave to it so generously of his money and of his might. Had it
not been for his great ability, his resourcefulness, his faith and confidence in the enterprise, it
would have failed. He told in his own words how he raised the last $100,000 necessary to
complete this factory. "The last $100,000 needed was loaned by Wells Fargo and Company of
San Francisco. The manager of the bank there had formerly managed their branch bank in Salt
Lake City, and I was at one time his personal friend. He told me that it would be impossible to
lend the money, a thousand miles away, on local security, and in the midst of a panic. I told him
he had believed in me as a boy, and now I wanted him to believe in me as one of the fifteen men
managing the Mormon Church. He said, 'My boy, I would be glad to lend you the money, but my
loan committee would not approve my doing so.' I finally said, 'Mr. Wads-worth, the Mormon
Church will be alive when you and I are dead. I am sure that I can get you four notes of $25,000
each from the Mormon Church, payable in six, twelve, eighteen, and twenty-four months, and if
you will write the names of twenty-five of the financially strongest men in Salt Lake City I can
get twenty of them to guarantee these notes/ He laughed and said: 'My boy, you cannot do it/ 1
said, 'do not ask anything more, I know I can do it/ 'All right/ he said, 'If you can, you may have
the money, and I will give you a hundred per cent margin. You have asked for a margin of five,
you can have a margin of ten. I will write thirty names, and if you can get any twenty of them,
you can have the money/ He wrote five or six names and then smiled and tore up his paper and
said, 'Heber, let me see: 1875 to 1891 is sixteen years, and any man who was well-fixed sixteen
years ago when I left Salt Lake City might be busted now. I will write to my successor in Salt
Lake City and ask him to write the thirty names and tell him to hand you the $100,000 to draw on
me with the note attached. If you get your signatures, I will not even submit the matter to my
"I secured twenty-four signatures. Three of the men were out of town, and only two of the thirty
declined, and David Eccles, who overheard a discussion preceding their decline when I solicited
their signatures, said, 'Heber, I overheard your story, is my name one of the thirty? , 'No/ 1 said, 'I
never thought of going to Ogden for signatures/ He remarked, 'I would like to look at the notes/ 1
handed them to him. He did not read them but turned them over and endorsed them and as he
handed them back, remarked, 'Heber, my name wont hurt them/ And, by the way, he could have
bought all the property belonging to the other twenty-four. And/ he continued, 'when a note from
the Mormon Church is not good for $100,000, Salt Lake City, will be like Nauvoo, Illinois,
excuse my profanity, too damned hot for Mormons to live here. Any time the President would
like to have my name on another $100,-
000 come up to Ogden. It will be a pleasure to endorse his note and tell President Woodruff that if
he wants and cannot get renewal of these notes, I will take them up, and he can pay me in one
year, five years, ten years, or whenever it is convenient.' I confess I would have thoroughly
enjoyed hugging David Eccles at that time."
The beet sugar business was ultimately a financial success, but not until it had tested the faith and
the soul fiber of all those who were connected with it in the years of its development.
During the postwar crisis of 1921 the beet sugar industry was again in jeopardy. It required re-
financing, and Heber J. Grant secured the necessary aid. Of this circumstance, he said: "I went
East to negotiate a renewal of the $7,000,000 with the banks of Chicago, St. Paul, and New York
and finally succeeded in getting a renewal of the $7,000,000 and a pledge of $2,800,000, or forty
per cent additional loan to pay for the small crop of beets. Subsequently a suggestion was made
that the government, which, through the War Finance Corporation, was taking care of cotton
raisers, ought to take care of the beet growers. Mr. Eugene Meyers was in Salt Lake City
arranging for loans to stockmen, and the suggestion was that the government ought to finance the
beet growers. Mr. Meyers said, 'I will give it my attention as soon as I get back to Washington,
1 believe it can be done/ He wired, 'Send representatives to Washington of the various sugar
companies, and I am sure the matter can be fixed ud, but I don't believe that it can possibly be
done by correspondence.' Henry H. Rolapp, who was then the president of the Amalgamated
Sugar Company, Mr. Carlton of the Holley Sugar Company, Mr. Tetrikin, president of the Great
Western Sugar Company, and myself went to Washington, also the vice president of the United
National Bank in Denver. The Great Western and the Holley did not need any money, and we
appreciated very much the presence of the officials of these companies being with us to vouch
that the security which we offered would be good.
"When I reached Washington, Reed Smoot asked how much money we would need and I said,
'Ten million dollars/ He said, 'You ask for it. I have already converted the President of the United
States that you are entitled to all you want.' He said, 'You ask for it.' Senator Reed Smoot took our
party to call on the President, and President Harding turned to Mr. Meyers, the head of the War
Finance Corporation, and said, 'Mr. Meyers, President Grant and his associates have here an
enterprise that is entitled to all the money they want.' Then he turned to me and said: 'President
Grant, this man Meyers has the whole United States behind him, you make him come through.'
"We succeeded in getting a pledge of ten million dollars as a loan from the War Finance
Corporation, which was enough to take care of all the beet sugar factories in Utah and Idaho for
the next year's beet crop. We used nine million dollars and a fraction, and it was all paid back in a
Few experiences in the world brought so much joy to the heart of Heber J. Grant as services of
this kind: securing the money, paying it back, and saving the industry. For more than fifty years,
Heber J. Grant was a steadfast and loyal friend to that great basic industry. When others lacked
faith and lost courage, he never faltered in his support of the sugar industry and lived to see his
vision and his foresight rewarded by abundant harvests to investors, farmers, factory workers, and
all connected with it.
Life insurance is a business of great magnitude. It touches the lives of half the people and most of
the families of the nation. When it was almost in its infancy, Heber J. Grant had the vision to see
the great part it was destined to play in the world and to become actively interested in it. Of all
the enterprises in which he was early engaged, this was his first love, and it held first place in his
affections to the day of his death. He believed that it was the highest expression of wisdom for a
man to provide some insurance for those dependent upon him. This principle was a great factor in
winning his constant loyalty to the insurance business. He began in the insurance business as a
clerk in a fire insurance office when he was sixteen years of age. A few years later he purchased
the business from his employer who was moving to San Francisco. On December 11, 1888, he
effected a partnership known as the Heber J. Grant and Company. This company represented at
one time all classes of insurance, including life. He wrote as high as a million dollars of life
insurance in one year, which was a large amount for those days. He organized the Home Fire
Insurance Company of Utah, now known as the Utah Home Fire Insurance Company, on
September 30, 1886, with a paid up capital of $100,000. At the same time he organized a life
insurance company known as the Home Life Insurance Company, a running mate for the fire
insurance company. The fire insurance company is still operating, being licensed in a number of
states and is one of the oldest companies west of the Mississippi River. The life insurance
company continued for three or four years but, owing to difficulty in converting the people, the
company finally dis-incor-porated. The stockholders were paid every dollar of their investment,
and the premiums were returned to policy holders, $140.00 for every $100.00 paid in. President
Grant believed in life insurance next to his religion. Upon the death of Joseph F. Smith, who was
the president of the Beneficial Life Insurance Company, Heber J. Grant became the president of
the company. This was in November, 1918, and during his presidency the company grew in assets
from $2,500,000 to over $16,000,000. His desire always was to give his own people a maximum
of protection at a minimum cost. He believed the insuring public should have their protection as
inexpensive as consistent with safety. He did not aim to build a great institution, but to maintain
in a sound financial condition those companies with which he was connected.
He had all that it takes to make a great insurance agent. Henry B. Hyde, the founder of the
Equitable Life Insurance Company, and one of the "Napoleons" of the life insurance business,
visited Salt Lake City many years ago and heard Heber J. Grant when he was a young man speak
in the Tabernacle. Mr. Hyde was greatly impressed and stopped after the meeting and said, "Mr.
Grant, I have inquired your name. I am Henry B. Hyde, and my specialty is finding life insurance
agents. I have listened to a natural -born agent today and I want his service." Then he asked,
"What are you earning, young man?" He was informed that the salary was $300 a month. Mr.
Hyde offered him $600 a month if he would join the Equitable and was insistent that he sign a
contract with his company. President Grant told him that he gave his time to the Church and
could only work twenty-four hours a week on insurance. Even this was satisfactory to Mr. Hyde,
but the offer was refused. One of the President's objections, which he did not then state, was that
money was worth six per cent in New York and three or four times that much here. In fact, loans
were made at two per cent a month, and all insurance premiums paid here would be sent to the
Later President Grant went to New York to see Mr. Hyde, and Mr. Hyde said to him, "I am going
to make you one of the wealthiest men in Utah." He told him how he would do it, and he could
have done what he suggested. Henry B. Hyde built the Equitable from a $100,000 company to
one of $300,000,000 before he died. It had a better net reserve than the biggest companies in the
world. This wizard in the insurance business recognized in Heber J. Grant the qualities that go to
make a really great insurance man.
No less interesting was President Grant's contact with Colonel Alexander G. Haws, his lifelong
and steadfast friend. Colonel Haws said to President Grant on one occasion, "I can give you a
$40,000 a year job as vice-president of the New York Life. I've known you from childhood, and
you are my first choice for that position." President Grant told him that he was not getting a tithe
of $40,000 from the Church, but that he could not accept his offer. Colonel Haws felt that he was
making a very great mistake. The man who was appointed to the position, Mr. Perkins, went to
New York for $40,000 a year. Subsequently he left the insurance company and went with J.
Pierpont Morgan and Company who paid him a quarter of a million dollar salary and gave him an
interest in the business. President Grant, commenting on this, said, "The officials of the New
York Life told me a year ago when I called at their office that is what I might have received if I
had stayed with the New York Life. The chairman of the board said, 'Mr. Grant, that salary of
$250,000 was nothing. He got a million dollars a year dividend for ten years from the company as
his share of the business.' I said, 1 missed a great opportunity, but I am not sorry.' :
At that time Heber J. Grant, as President of the Church, was president of the Hotel Utah, the
Z.C.M.I., Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company, Utah State National Bank, the Utah-Idaho
Sugar Company, the Beneficial Life Insurance Company. In addition, President Grant was a
director of the Union Pacific Railroad Company, president of the Heber J. Grant and Company
and of the Home Fire Insurance Company. All of these extra assignments took of his time and
energy, but never for one moment did they encroach on his real assignment as President of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an institution of far greater scope and significance in
the world than all the insurance or bank companies or industrial organizations, an institution
destined to prevail as a master influence in the world. From the time he was twenty-five years of
age up to the age of forty, he engaged in many business enterprises of which no two were alike.
They covered a variety of fields.
Thus Heber J. Grant initiated many enterprises and made a substantial contribution to the
industrial growth of his community.
In his autobiography he wrote. "In 1 879 (23 years old) I purchased from Lorin M. Richards, a
half interest in the Utah Vinegar Works at Ogden. In 1880 I purchased Mr. Richards' interests in
the works, paying him $6,500. In 1881 my vinegar works were destroyed by fire. I had invested
quite an amount of borrowed money in the business and had something over $6,000 of my own.
After selling the real estate, damaged machinery and adding to the amount received $5,000,
insurance money, and paying the same on my indebtedness, I was $3,000 in debt and had nothing
to pay it with."
In February, 1884, he entered into a partnership with his brother, Joshua F. Grant, and George T.
Odell, for the purpose of dealing in wagons, machinery, and agricultural implements. In 1885 the
business of Grant, Odell, and Company was incorporated with a paid-up capital of $60,000, and
he was made president of the corporation. This became a strong and prosperous business and for
many years paid a substantial dividend to its stockholders. As a result of the depression of 1929 it
was placed in a receivership and was finally liquidated.
He purchased ninety percent of the stock of the Salt Lake Herald. With the assistance of Horace
G. Whitney, whom the President nominated, "one of the finest newspaper men that ever lived,
both as a writer and as a business manager," the Herald became a great success within three years,
making more than $12,000 a year.
His daughter, Lucy, has spoken of another enterprise. "We thought our fortune was surely to be
made in soap when Father founded the Grant Soap Factory. The Grant soap was far better than
any other laundry soap. We wrote hundreds of letters and enclosed folded circulars telling about
the merits of this soap. All other soaps were banished from our house, and the Grant Laundry
Soap was used for everything." The banishment of the other soap from "our house" is true to the
Heber J. Grant tradition. He only wanted others to do what he was willing to do.
Mojave Land and Cattle Company
Anthony W. Ivins' journal contains the following reference to the organization of the Mojave
Land and Cattle Company:
"In 1 885 I engaged in the purchase of steers which I sold to parties who drove them north. The
steers, brought from the Shivwit Mountains, about seventy-five miles south of St. George, were
the finest I had ever seen in our country, and I was attracted to that part of the country by this
fact. I finally bought the part of the Shivwit Mountains owned by the people of Washington
County, Utah, and known as the Mojave Ranch, with several hundred head of cattle. This ranch
and cattle I subsequently sold to B. F. Saunders. Mr. Saunders improved the ranch and did some
fencing and put on a large number of cattle. He also incorporated the Mojave Land and Cattle
Company. He owned all of the stock. I then interested my cousin, H. J. Grant, Jesse W. Fox, Jr.,
and L. W. Hardy, all of Salt Lake City, to invest with me in the enterprise, and we bought Mr.
Saunders out, paying him $40,000 for the ranch and cattle. I was made manager of the company,
and we started in business with good prospects for success."
This company continued in business until 1896 when A. W. Ivins was called to go to Mexico.
Under his wise management it paid the stockholders annually a substantial dividend. It was one of
the profitable enterprises in which Heber J. Grant was interested.
Referring to it, he said: "I was feeling as blue, financially speaking, as I ever did in my life when
my cousin, Anthony W. Ivins, was called to go to Mexico. He had been marvelously successful in
running ranches. He and I owned half of a fifty-thousand-dollar ranch that for years paid a
twenty-five percent dividend regularly. The panic had come on and some institutions in which I
had money were not paying dividends. The twelve -tliousand-five-hundied dollars I owned in this
ranch was paying an interest at six per cent on fifty thousand dollars of my debts.
"I was sitting in the Temple, feeling heartbroken (although I was one of the committee that
nominated Brother Ivins to go into Mexico because I felt impressed that he was needed there and
that the Lord wanted him to go there), when it came to me as plainly as though a voice had
" 'You have no need of feeling sad because of your cousin's going to Mexico. He is going right
where the Lord wants him to go, and you shall have the exquisite joy of welcoming him back into
this room of the Temple as an Apostle of this last dispensation.'
"I immediately shed some tears of joy and gratitude. And this promise was fulfilled." 3
This association with his cousin, Tone, as he affectionately called him, was pleasant and
profitable. Heber had implicit confidence in the judgment of his cousin and a profound
admiration for his ability. Anthony Ivins was four years his senior and one of the ablest and most
beloved men that this state has ever produced. The President's affection for his cousin was like
that of David for Jonathan — he loved him above all other men, and well he might have done.
These men were both distinguished for their generosity and their humanitarianism. They were
different in temperament, but each seemed to complement the other perfectly. Consequently, they
made a strong team. Heber was brilliant and spectacular in action — fast to move to conclusions,
and courageous almost to a fault.
His honesty and integrity were stainless. A. W. Ivins knew cattle and horses and birds and
flowers and men, and loved the great outdoors. He was refined in his tastes and in all respects a
most estimable and companionable man of sound judgment and goodness of heart.
Time will work many changes, and when all the business institutions and enterprises with which
Heber J. Grant was connected have passed away and are forgotten, his name will shine in the
records of the race, as a great President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the
institution to which he gave his undivided heart and to which he consecrated his time, his talents,
and his affections.
During the territorial days Heber J. Grant was elected a member of the Utah Legislature, and in
1885 was a member of the city council of Salt Lake City. No doubt he could have been the first
governor of Utah under statehood had he chosen to accept the honor. As a member of the Quorum
of the Twelve, he felt it unwise to aspire to the governorship of the state. He cherished this offer
on the part of his friends most highly. He regarded it not only as a personal honor but also as a
vindication of his mother's judgment in accepting the hard lot of the people of her faith rather
than the comfort and security offered by her brothers in the East if she would renounce her
religion and stay with them. He wanted to show them that she had chosen wisely. The idea made
a great appeal to him; but if it involved a choice between his allegiance to his Church and to the
state, if it conflicted with his duty as a Church leader, he would rather forego the political honor,
no matter how great. His decision in this regard, which was a hard one to make, reflects great
credit on him and is convincing proof of his allegiance to the Church. He lived to see the wisdom
of his choice completely confirmed.
When he was forty years old, the age at which his father had died, he was frail, and his life's
expectancy was none too promising. He was six feet and three-eighths of an inch tall in his
stocking feet and weighed one hundred thirty-five pounds. However, at that age he had made two
momentous decisions. Greed for wealth and thirst for earthly power are the besetting sins of
ambitious souls. He had cast both of these aside. The first to go was the love of wealth. It came
earlier, at twenty-four, when he accepted the call to go to Tooele; and the tempter came again
when Henry B. Hyde said to him, "I am going to make you the wealthiest man in the state of
Utah." As tempting as it was, this generous offer was not accepted. His second great decision was
made when, at the age of forty, he refused the offer of the governorship of the state.
Back in 1936 this question was put to a member of the Presiding Bishopric, "What part has
President Grant played in safeguarding the assets of the Church?" The answer was, "The part
which President Grant has played in keeping the Church out of debt has been manifested in every
way. He set his face like flint against contracting obligations greater than the revenues would
justify and has nurtured, protected, and greatly enhanced its assets until today the Church owes
not one red cent; but on the contrary, it is the owner of much real estate and other valuable
investments of gratifying magnitude.
"President Grant, whose guiding genius is ever alert in all of these involvements, and who is a
wonderful salesman, gives personal attention to the financial activities of every Mormon
community, and he never neglects admonitions for the spiritual welfare of the members of the
THE HOME LIFE OF THE GRANTS
THE best criterion by which to judge a people or a nation is the atmosphere of its firesides.
Individual happiness and national well-being center there. Home building is the highest of the
fine arts, the master job of mortal men and women. In no other way did Heber J. Grant show
superior craftsmanship than in the selection of his companions and the creation of his homes. At
one time he had three of them, and each was a center of faith and a refuge from the turmoil of the
world, a haven of peace, confidence, and love.
Lucy Stringham Grant
Before his twenty-first birthday Heber J. Grant married Lucy Stringham, daughter of Briant and
Lucy Ashby Stringham. Briant was one of the pioneers who arrived in Salt Lake Valley, July 24,
1847. He was then unmarried and twenty-four years of age. He lived twenty-four more years and
died suddenly, leaving a large family with little to sustain them. At the time of her father's death
Lucy was thirteen years old.
From all description she was a brilliant and beautiful girl — a leader in her mother's family and in
the circle in which she moved. She began teaching school at fourteen years of age to help the
family and married Heber J. Grant in her nineteenth year. She died at the age of thirty-five,
leaving five daughters and a little son.
For several years during her short life she was an invalid, bedfast for months at a time, but to the
last she directed her household.
Her photographs show that she possessed refinement, decision, and strength of character. She was
intelligent and distinguished in personality and appearance — a beautiful woman. Rachel, her
oldest daughter, pays this tribute in verse to her mother's eyes:
MY MOTHER'S VALIANT EYES
O ! Mother dear, my heart goes back Along the trail of yesteryears; I see again your valiant eyes
Although my own are dim with tears.
You could not stay with love to light My way when shadows should arise, But you could leave a
gift divine, The memory of your valiant eyes.
I now can see how brave you were, Your soul with bands of pain held fast, Yet in your flashing
valiant eyes Was faith no shade could overcast.
When weary with the strife of life My heavy hands would cease to fight, A vision of your valiant
eyes Awakens courage for the right.
When death shall come with beckoning hand And free my soul from earthly ties, One boon I
crave from out the dusk-Love's greeting from your valiant eyes.
Lucy, her second daughter, gives this interesting and intimate account of her mother.
"Mother was medium in height. She stood erect. Her hair was almost black and very abundant.
She wore it in the style of the day, with bangs in front and a high bob. Her features were marked
and distinct, but her eyes were the loveliest I have ever seen. Many people who knew Mother
have remarked what a fine-looking woman she was, so gracious and pleasing were her manners.
"She taught me a very simple prayer, as early as I could talk, asking Father in heaven to bless
Father, Mother, Grandmother, and to bless Grandmother Grant and to make her hear, and to help
me to be a good girl.
"A young boy who came to stay at our home when Father was away has told us about Mother's
fervent prayers. He said those prayers had a deep influence for good upon his life.
"Mother was artistic and loved beautiful things. She did some pen and ink sketches which Father
had framed, and they were in our house for years. I am sure if she had had the opportunity for
even a little instruction she would have excelled in some of the fine arts. She was exceptionally
kind and was greatly loved by all who worked in the home. Mother was an executive. She wasted
no time. She planned everything. In the summer we had a sewing woman who made us a full
winter wardrobe. Her work was all planned; Monday was washday; Tuesday, ironing day;
Wednesday the basket of clothes which needed mending was by Mother's side; Friday was die
day for sweeping and cleaning; and Saturday was also a cleaning day. During Mother's life we all
seemed to have plenty of the necessities and comforts of life. There were men to milk die cows,
take care of the grounds, and help around the house. A horse and surrey or a carriage was ready
whenever we wanted one, as Father was interested in the livery stables. Theatre tickets were
always available. Mother, however, did not turn us over to the hired help. It seemed to me she
always knew where we were, and what we were doing. She took a special interest in all of our
activities and in all of our friends. She made our home so pleasant and happy that we always
loved to be there. I love to think back over those happy times when Mother sat under the gas light
and we gadiered around while she read from the Youth's Companion, Hans Brinker or the Silver
Skates, Little Lord Fauntleroy, or some of Louisa Alcott's works.
"Mother was far ahead of her time in the matter of diet and the care of us when we were ill. We
lived very simply with plenty of milk, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and raisins, wholewheat bread, and
very little meat. She believed in the water cure. She had a great deal of literature which she
studied on that cure. She practiced her skill on us, and while we hated to have the packs, I diink
her method was very effective. If we didn't feel very well, she would give us lots and lots of cold
and hot water to drink. She would prepare a pack for our whole body by wringing a sheet out of
very hot water, spread it on a quilt, and have us lie down on the wet sheet. By the time we were
all wrapped up in the sheet it would be getting rather cold, but it soon warmed up to a steaming
temperature when she loaded us with quilts and down puffs. We stayed in it an hour even if we
did plead to get out, because it was so unbearably hot. After we were out, she gave us an alcohol
rub. It was very effective, but sometimes we felt the cure was worse than the disease.
"Father bought us a little tea cart and horse, and the stipulations were that Rachel and I would
take care of the horse. We readily agreed to it, but it was quite a chore. We had the horse to feed
and curry, the barn to clean out, and the chore of hitching the horse to the cart. Once Flaxie, the
horse, became too high-spirited, and Mother was afraid for us to drive him. We found we had not
been exercising him enough, and feeding him too many oats. The oats were cut out of his diet
"Mother's girlhood was hard. She didn't tell us very much about it. At fourteen she taught school
at Granger. She lived with Charles and Margaret Spencer. They were Spencer Cornwall's
grandparents. Aunt Margaret, as we called her, was always kind and thoughtful of Mother. For
years she and Uncle Charley came every week with butter and eggs for us, and we often went to
their home to spend the day during the summer months.
"Mother appreciated everything she had. After so many years of poverty, to have an abundance,
and being able to help her brothers and sisters, and to give some of them a home, and to add to
their happiness was a great joy to her. I believe one of the greatest pleasures of Father's life was
doing nice things for his wives and family. He showered them with gifts. Mother had lovely
jewelry, fine clothes, beautiful furniture and pictures in the home.
"When the Steinway piano arrived, we were old enough to take lessons. Father said he would pay
for the lessons if we would play for him whenever he asked us. This seemed a reasonable request,
but occasionally when he had company, he would call us to play before we thought we were well
enough prepared. I remember I would get Mother to put my hair up in rags, that was the way we
made curls in those days, so I could be presentable when asked to come into the parlor to play.
"She was a loving mother, efficient and capable, a tower of strength to her household, her
husband, and her family. Her teachings were always a guide to the lives of her children who
cherish forever her memory.
"It has been one of my most treasured desires to so live that I can meet that angel mother and
report that I have tried to live as she would have had me live — true to the gospel and true to the
family. Also to report to her that even though she was here with me but a short time, her
teachings were indelibly impressed upon my young mind so that they have been a light to my
path and have given me a desire to live in such a way that our meeting will be a joyous one, when
I shall pass to the happy land where she and Father are waiting to greet us."
She died January 3, 1892, leaving the following children: Rachel, Lucy, Florence, Edith, Anna
and Heber. Heber died in his seventh year and Edith, Mrs. Clifford E. Young, at the age of sixty-
two, August 20, 1947.
Augusta Winters Grant
Although Augusta Winters Grant died in her ninety-fifth year, she was older by four months than
her husband and older than Lucy Stringham or Emily Wells, his other wives. Augusta survived
them all. This good man and these wonderful women lived the patriarchal order of marriage as
only unselfish, and God-fearing people could do. These women, and all women like them, who
subscribed to and lived this divine law belong to the elect of God, and their names will shine
among the chosen ones when he comes to make up his jewels.
Mrs. Robert L. Judd, the only child of Augusta Winters Grant and President Heber J. Grant, wrote
"Mother was born of pioneer parents in the little town of Pleasant Grove, Utah. With pardonable
pride she traces back of her Mormon pioneer progenitors, Revolutionary stock from whom she is
directly descended. Beyond these patriots in both her father's and mother's lines are sober-minded
Puritans, and still farther back, in the time of Queen Mary, a predecessor who gave his life as a
martyr for the Protestant cause." 1
Rebecca Winters, Augusta's grandmother and the daughter of the Revolutionary patriot, Gideon
Burdick, died on the Nebraska plains in August, 1852, on her way to Utah and was buried in a
lonely grave marked by an old wagon tire with only this inscription chiseled on it: "Rebecca
Winters, age fifty years." In 1902, fifty years after her death, when the engineers who were laying
out the Burlington Railroad discovered this grave, which was in the center of the proposed line,
they concluded that it was the grave of a pioneer mother and considerately changed the line to
miss the grave. Subsequently the railroad built a neat fence around it, and the Winters family has
erected a small monument of temple granite on which is inscribed, among other things, the fourth
verse of "Come, Come, Ye Saints/'
Rebecca's son, Oscar, and Mary Ann Stearns, traveling with an advanced company, were married
on the plains that summer by Lorenzo Snow. Arriving in Utah they settled in Pleasant Grove and
he set about at once to make a home for his parents. They were unaware of his mother's death
until they came to Salt Lake City expecting to meet her. Here they met the company with which
she was traveling and learned for the first time the sad news of her death.
Augusta's father and mother were both schoolteachers, and quite naturally she became a
schoolteacher. It is interesting to note that Augusta was one of the first of the little community in
which she lived to leave her home and attend an institution of higher learning. When she was
sixteen, she went to the Brigham Young Academy, then known as the Timpanogos Academy, and
afterwards to the University of Utah. She began to teach when very young. She would save what
she could, go to school until her savings were exhausted, and then return to teaching. In this way
she completed her training. She was graduated from the University of Utah in 1877.
For two years she was principal of the Pleasant Grove School. Amy Brown Lyman, former
president of the General Relief Society organization of the Church, was one of her pupils. She has
this to say about her: "For her kindness, human sympathy, and understanding heart, we all loved
her. She seemed to understand adolescent boys and girls and to realize that their restlessness is
due in a measure to their quest for self-expression."
The next two years she attended the University of Utah and was invited by Dr. John R. Park, the
president, to take charge of a department of the city schools in his first attempt to organize and
grade them. Soon after she was made principal of the Seventeenth Ward Academy where many of
her pupils were older than she was. Augusta taught school about ten years, and has many ex-
pupils all over the state of Utah. She was born with a thirst for knowledge, and all her life she
sought to satisfy it. When in New York, where her daughter Mary was attending Columbia
University, she registered for a course. She was then nearly sixty years of age.
Mrs. Grant was one of the three women who in 1893 organized the Author's Club, whose object
was a study of the best authors. She was also a charter member of the Friendship Circle. Both of
these worth-while organizations are still active.
On May 26, 1884, Augusta was married to Apostle Heber J. Grant. While she was privileged to
have but one daughter of her own, she also mothered nine other children. Six were her husband's
and three her sister's. In addition to these, other nieces and nephews were given care and attention
by this mother in her home and she assisted them in establishing themselves. She saw these
young people grow to maturity, all happily married. This great and unselfish service on her part
won the everlasting gratitude of these children and the praise and admiration of all who knew this
noble woman. When she went into the home of her husband to rear the six motherless children of
another wife, she recorded in her diary: "This was a sweet privilege accorded to me." She opened
her arms to those children and gathered them together with her own daughter and the children of
her sister and brother.
Mrs. Grant had an interesting philosophy of life which deeply influenced her career. While she
was a young woman teaching school, she decided that she would "always like to do what she had
to do and would never want anything she could not have." This is a very noble philosophy.
Always to like to do what you are compelled to do lifts one above the law of compulsion and
reduces to practice the divine injunction "Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile go with him
twain." Never to want anything you cannot have is to submerge covetousness and greed and
exercise a lofty self-discipline. These precepts were fixed and guiding principles throughout her
In the early '90's a board was established to further plans for a free kindergarten. Mrs. Grant was
secretary of this board and was active in free kindergarten work for a number of years. Until this
time the only kindergartens were private ones, for which the parents paid tuition. During this
period she made it a practice to go to the Temple once a week and kept up this duty until her
health would no longer permit her to go.
With all her winsome ways there was never a taint of vanity or self-conceit. Her charm,
personality, quiet attire, fine tastes, and modest appearance, gave her an air of distinction which
she herself never sought. With gifts and graces which qualified her for high public position she
accepted only such offices and duties as would permit the full discharge of her domestic
Mrs. Grant traveled with the President widely and met many distinguished people, men and
women eminent in science, in Church circles, in education, and in achievement. She was always
ready at his instant call to take a voyage, to receive guests, or to make changes in plans. She was
never frustrated. She was always peaceful, hopeful, self-reliant, and abundantly tactful. She was
the ideal helpmate for her swift-moving, intensely active husband.
She spent one year on a mission with her husband in Japan. President Grant, then an Apostle,
with Louis B. Kelsch, Horace S. Ensign, and Alma O. Taylor opened the Japanese Mission in
1901. At the end of a year President Grant returned to Salt Lake. When he went back to Japan,
there were eighteen members in his party. Among them were Mrs. Grant and then* daughter
When asked to write of her husband for the Relief Society Magazine on the occasion of his
eighty-fifth birthday, she said:
"I appreciate the consideration and generosity which have always been shown me by my husband
and hate to draw aside the veil of our intimacy except to say that no woman could have had a
There was a calmness and simplicity about this distinguished woman which impressed people.
She adhered to the truth, never exaggerated, was always helpful, steadfastly cheerful, quietly
efficient and prayerful. The question with her was not what she could get, but rather what she
Mrs. Grant met life's problems calmly, cheerfully, and fearlessly. She never did a rash or ill-
considered thing. Serenity, refinement, intelligence, and wisdom seemed perfectly integrated in
her wonderful life. All of these characteristics were reflected in her charming personality and
shone in her lovely face. Augusta Grant, in character and countenance, was one of the most
beautiful women of her day. Quietly and modestly she moved in her wide circle of friends, loving
and being loved by all.
Emily Harris Wells Grant
Emily Harris Wells, daughter of Daniel H. and Martha Givens Harris Wells, was born April 22,
1857, in a small adobe house which stood on the block where the Hotel Utah now stands. Emily,
one of a large family of brothers and sisters, grew to womanhood in a wholesome and happy
environment. The Wells children were taught to work, to shun idleness, to improve their talents.
Brilliant of mind, winsome in manner, graceful in accomplishments, Emily was a great favorite
among the young people with whom she associated. She had a kind and understanding heart. She
was a peacemaker, and hosts of friends came to her for advice and sympathy. Her father, Daniel
H. Wells, belonged to the nobility of his day. He was a statesman, soldier, Church leader, and
stood at the head of a distinguished family. Among his children were churchmen, military men,
businessmen, artists, and writers — all honorable men and women, a credit to the state and nation.
Daniel H. Wells gave his children all of the educational advantages of that period. They were
among the aristocracy of their time.
On May 27, 1884, Emily was married to Apostle Heber J. Grant, as his third wife. Her oldest
daughter, Dessie, gives this interesting account:
"She was married with the consent and approval of Lucy, Father's first wife. Mother and Aunt
Lucy had grown up in the same community and had been friends for many years. On the other
hand Mother had met Augusta Winters Grant, Father's second wife, only a few times before her
During the first six years of her married life she was on "the underground," as they called it. This
forced her to live away from home under an assumed name and never to disclose her identity. It
was hard, but there were two things that made it possible; first, her conviction that she was doing
the right thing and eventually everything would turn for the best. That was the faith that sustained
her, which is a rare and marvelous gift. Second, her love for the man she had married. She felt
that so long as he lived everything would be all right with her and with her children.
Soon after her first wedding anniversary she sailed for England, where her father, Daniel H.
Wells, was serving as president of the European Mission. In the mission home, at 42 Islington,
Liverpool, her first child was born. During the twenty-two months she spent in England she took
advantage of every opportunity to visit historic and interesting places. It was a never-ending thrill
to walk the green lanes of England, to wander through its beautiful parks, to visit the birthplaces
of such celebrities as Burns, Scott, Shakespeare, Byron, Goldsmith, and Thomas Moore. She
reveled in the quaint shops of London and Liverpool and became an expert judge of linen,
silverware, chinaware, and antiques. In associating with the missionaries and British Saints she
found much pleasure.
She had the happy companionship of her father and enjoyed the benefits of his wisdom and
counsel. To be with him was next to being at home. All the while she was away she received,
regularly and promptly, comforting letters from her devoted husband.
Upon her return from England she continued for sometime to live on "the underground/' On
November 21, 1891, her only son, Daniel, was born. At about that time President Grant purchased
a home at 61 First Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah, for her, and thereafter she was known as Mrs.
Grant. Words cannot describe the happy days this family spent in their first real home. To
associate with her brothers and sisters, to call upon her friends and entertain them in her own
home, and to enjoy the companionship of her husband seemed a full compensation for all she had
passed through. The happy days on First Avenue were marred by the death of her little son,
Daniel Wells Grant, who died from pneumonia when he was three and a half years old. He was an
unusual child, both physically and mentally, and his deadi was a blow from which his mother
never seemed to recover. In the panic of 1893, soon after the death of Daniel, the home at 61 First
Avenue was sold.
October, 1903, shortly after President Grant's return from Japan, Emily was attending a general
conference of the Church in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. They had sustained the General Authorities
and were announcing changes in appointments when she heard the words, "Heber J. Grant has
been called to preside over the European Mission to succeed Francis M. Lyman." She was
stunned; she got up and went home. He had already been away two years. Dessie and Grace were
adolescents. Emily was but seven, and Frances four. Another three years of separation seemed
more than she could bear. However, shortly after the meeting adjourned, he came hurrying into
the house all smiles. He was delighted beyond words with the new appointment. She threw her
arms around his neck and cried as if her heart would break, "I just can't bear another long
separation," she sobbed. "Well," said he, "it will be hard for you to leave your mother and Edna.
You and the children are going with me."
Emily had always wanted to go back to England. They sailed from Boston on November 19,
1903, on the S. S. Republic. President Grant took Emily, her four daughters, and Florence and
Edith. Emily Grant and her daughters spent three years sight-seeing and studying. They went
from one end of the British Isles to the other, and on the continent from Scandinavia to Italy.
Florence and Edith stayed one year, and then they returned home. They were followed to Europe
by Anna and Mary, together with Miss Kate Wells, who came to chaperone them. Traveling in
those days was not expensive, and the Grants were never extravagant. Emily was the best traveler
in the family. She was the first one up in the morning and the last one to go to bed at night. She
was never too tired to go to an opera, concert, or play. They went to numerous operas, plays,
concerts, and oratorios. They visited abbeys and cathedrals, art galleries and museums, parks and
gardens, lakes, countrysides and seashore resorts. They saw the birthplaces of poets, writers and
statesmen. They visited battlefields and famous monuments. Mrs. Grant seemed to be the
youngest member of the party. People often took her for one of the daughters. She was thin, had a
youthful figure, and a quick step, and she hadn't a gray hair. Her charm and gracefulness made
her attractive. People loved to be with her. The elders and sisters who helped in the office were
devoted to her. The Saints loved her, and she was fond of the British people as she had been
during her stay eighteen years before. She never tired of praising them and their glorious country.
Her cheerfulness, wit, and good judgment made her company sought after. She often said, "I wish
these years could go on forever." President Grant was released at the end of three years, and the
family arrived in Salt Lake City on December 24, 1906.
Upon their return the President and Mrs. Grant were better physically than they had ever been
before. However, during the spring, Emily began to feel tired, then ill, and she couldn't imagine
why. By August she was very ill. The following January they moved into the new house on the
corner of B Street and Second Avenue, one of the finest in the city. But she was too ill to enjoy it.
During her long and tedious illness she was brave, cheerful, and patient. She did not fear death.
Her relatives and friends did everything they could for her recovery, hoping against hope, fasting
and praying that the Lord would spare her life. But in spite of all that faith and medical science
could do, she passed away on May 25, 1908.
Dessie relates: "We were young when she died. As we look back on her long illness, we realize
that Father had not left a stone unturned to bring comfort and peace to her. His kindness and
devotion to her were wonderful. We are proud to be their children. They taught us to love life,
without fearing death; to be happy in the face of trials; to make our Heavenly Father our best
friend. She has been gone many years, but she never seems far away. Her influence has guided
All of her daughters married. Dessie married Ashby Douglas Boyle, an attorney. Grace married
Isaac Blair Evans, also an attorney. Emily married Axel A. Madsen, a real estate broker; she died
July 21, 1929, following the birth of her youngest son. Frances Marian married Wallace Foster
Bennett, businessman and United States Senator from Utah.
EARLY EXPERIENCES IN THE CHURCH
A T T OWEVER enlightening an account may be of JL JL the birth, boyhood, and business
achievements of this venerable leader, they are of minor significance in comparison with his
career as a man of God, a loyal follower of the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
It requires only a few lines to name the promotions and ordinations in the Church that came to
Heber J. Grant, but if the record of his service to the Church were to be expunged, as broad and
varied as his other interests were, there would be only a shadowy fragment left. His major interest
centered in the Church; to it he gave his first allegiance. All other things were relegated to a
secondary place. His faith in it and his loyalty to its institutions and its doctrines could never be
questioned by anyone familiar with the facts.
Here is the record: He was baptized June 22, 1864; ordained an elder at fifteen; a seventy at
twenty; a high priest at twenty-four; president of the Tooele Stake of Zion at twenty-four; an
Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ at twenty-six; president of that quorum at sixty; President of the
Church at sixty-two.
The records also show that he was made a member of the presidency of the Thirteenth Ward
Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, June 10, 1875, which was tire first organization
effected in the Church by Junius F. Wells, under the direction of President Brig-ham Young.
Twenty-two years later in 1897 he became a member of the general superintendency of that
organization, and in November of that year manager of The Improvement Era of which he was
the principal founder. In December, 1918, he became editor of that magazine.
He served as a ward teacher in the Thirteenth Ward with Hamilton G. Park and frequently
referred to this experience. All his days he cherished the companionship of that humble, yet
remarkable man, whose testimony he so much appreciated. This was one of the faith-building
experiences of his boyhood days.
What an ideal combination it really is for a young man with little experience to accompany an
older man with mature experience on a mission of such religious importance as ward teaching.
Heber J. Grant, a priest, and Hamilton G. Park, a high priest, were companions in the work of the
Lord. This is typical of the fine opportunities that are offered in the Church. Hamilton Park had
the deepest respect for his young companion, the future President, and this love and respect were
completely reciprocated on the part of the young man. No one ever heard Hamilton G. Park pray
or bear his testimony who was not moved by his sincerity and his native eloquence.
Referring to Brother Park in particular and to other men and women who had impressed him as a
child, President Grant had this to say: "I know that many times I have poured out the gratitude in
my heart to Hamilton G. Park, who was the teacher of my Sunday School class in my boyhood
and young manhood days. I shall never get over thanking this man for the wonderful impression
he made upon me and for the remarkable testimonies he bore in our class telling of his
experiences as a missionary, and the blessings and power of God that attended him while
explaining the gospel in two missions in his native country, Scotland.
"I look forward with the keenest pleasure to meeting in the hereafter Hamilton G. Park, George
Goddard, Bishop Nelson Empey, Bishop Edwin D. Woolley, Bishop Millen Atwood, and others
who made an impression for good upon my mind as a boy. I shall be grateful throughout all the
ages of eternity to those men for the impression they made upon me. We may think that the
impressions we make may not be lasting, but I can assure you they are. I am sure that a testimony
borne by a teacher to little children under the inspiration of the Living God is a difficult thing for
them to forget.
"I shall be grateful always to Eliza R. Snow, second only to my mother for the many wonderful
things that she told me as a little boy when I used to run errands or go up to the Lion House to
deliver a message to 'Aunt Eliza,' as I always called her. She was sure to ask me to sit down a few
minutes, and then she would talk to me. She told me scores and scores of faith-promoting
instances in her life in Nauvoo when she was there as a girl with my mother and instances in the
life of the Prophet Joseph Smith that have been invaluable to me. She inspired me with a
determination to live a life that would be worthy of my mother and father.
"I remember vividly also the wonderful teachings to me of the late Erastus Snow. Seldom, if ever,
did he come to the conference in April or October, or come here on some special mission that he
did not visit my mothers home and inquire how we were getting along, inquiring of me, whether I
was attending to my duties, what I was doing, and the company I was keeping. I shall never,
while I live and when I go beyond the grave, get over being grateful for the wonderful testimonies
and wonderful fatherly advice of that man to me." 2
These tributes, spoken in his later years, are not only an eloquent evidence of his nobility of
character, but are examples of the far-reaching importance of dealing wisely with youth. This
account should be a source of inspiration to all who work widi young people. Who can measure
what it means to plant in their souls a love for truth, to give direction to their lives?
The following is so typical of the quality of his faith and of his honesty with the Lord that it is an
inspiration to record it. This is only one of many faith-promoting incidents of his youth.
"I remember as a young man I had $50.00 in my pocket on one occasion which I intended to
deposit in the bank. When I went on Thursday morning to fast meeting — the fast meeting used to
be held on Thursdays instead of Sundays — and the bishop made an appeal for a donation, I
walked up and handed him the $50.00. He took five of it and put it in the drawer and gave the
$45.00 back to me and said that was my full share.
"I said, 'Bishop Woolley, by what right do you rob me of putting the Lord in my debt? Didn't you
preach here today that the Lord rewards fourfold? My mother is a widow, and she needs $200.00/
"He said, 'My boy, do you believe that if I take this other $45.00, you will get your $200.00
"I said: 'Certainly.'
"Well, he took it.
"While walking from fast meeting to the place where I worked, an idea popped into my head. I
sent a telegram to a man asking him how many bonds of a certain kind he would buy at a
specified price within forty-eight hours and allow me to draw a draft on him through Wells Far
go's Bank. He was a man whom I did not know. I had never spoken to him in my life, but I had
seen him a time or two on the streets of Salt Lake.
"He wired back that he wanted as many as I could get. My profit on that transaction was $218.50.
"The next day I walked down to the bishop and said: 'Bishop, I made $218.50 after paying that
$50.00 donation the other day and so I owe $21.85 in tithing. I will have to dig up the difference
between $21.85 and $18.50. The Lord did not quite give me the tithing in addition to a four to one
"Someone will say that it would have happened anyway. I do not think it would have happened. I
do not think I would have had the idea. I do not think I would have sent the telegram.
"I feel in my heart that we grow financially, spiritually, and in every way, as Latter-day Saints, by
doing our duty. When we are obedient to the commandments of the Lord and generous with our
time and our means, we grow in the spirit and testimony of the gospel, and I do not believe that
we are ever poorer financially. I am a firm believer that the Lord opens up the windows of heaven
when we do our duty financially and pours out upon us blessings of a spiritual nature, which are
of far greater value than temporal tilings. But I believe he also gives us blessings of a temporal
From the day he was made president of the Tooele Stake of Zion to the end of his mortal life the
uppermost thoughts in his mind were concerning the welfare and progress of the Church. It was
the joy of his life to testify of the divine mission of the Redeemer of the world; of the glorious
appearance of the Father and the Son to the boy prophet in the grove, of die restoration of the
gospel of the Son of God, and of the divine mission of Joseph Smith.
Nothing else gave him so much satisfaction as to lift up his voice in declaration of these eternal
truths. To do this was the very bread of life to Heber J. Grant.
In October, 1 880, he was called by President John Taylor to succeed Francis M. Lyman as
president of the Tooele Stake of Zion. Two years later, October 13, 1882, by special revelation,
he was chosen to be an Apostle. He then lacked a month of being twenty-six years old.
Referring to this calling he said, that from October 1882 until February 1883, he was in a most
unhappy frame of mind. He felt that he was unworthy to be an Apostle and should resign. This
troubled him greatly. While on the Navajo reservation in Arizona during a visit to one of the
stakes, he was riding horseback alone pondering on this situation when he seemed to hear a
discussion going on in a council in heaven about the vacancies that existed in the Quorum prior to
his calling. In this council the Savior, the Prophet Joseph Smith, his father, Jedediah M. Grant,
and others were present. They discussed whom they wanted chosen and decided that the way to
remedy this situation was to send a special revelation to the President of the Church. "It was made
known to me that the Prophet Joseph Smith and my father asked that I be called to that position.
... It was also made clear to me that from that day on it depended upon me and me alone whether I
made a success or failure of my life." That settled forever the question that troubled him.
In 1918, when he was President of the Council of the Twelve, he said: "I bear witness to you here
today that I do not believe that any man on earth from that day, February 1883, until now, * * *
has had sweeter joy, more perfect and exquisite happiness than I have had in lifting up my voice
and testifying of the gospel at home and abroad, in every land and every clime where it has fallen
to my lot to go." 4
Subsequently he received very great comfort from these words spoken to him by President Joseph
F. Smith on his deathbed: "The Lord bless you, my boy, the Lord bless you; you have a great
responsibility, always remember this is the Lord's work, and not man's. The Lord is greater than
any man. He knows whom he wants to lead his Church and never makes any mistakes. The Lord
bless you." 5
IN 1901 President Grant was called by President Lorenzo Snow to go to Japan and open the
mission there and dedicate that land for the preaching of the gospel. Accompanying him as
associate missionaries were Louis B. Kelsch, Horace S. Ensign, and Alma O. Taylor. The four
elders departed from Salt Lake City, July 24, 1901, traveled by rail to Vancouver, British
Columbia, where they went aboard the SS Empress of India, and sailed from Vancouver July
On August 12, 1901, the President organized and presided over the Japanese Mission and
remained its president until September 8,1903, when he was released. Soon after arriving in Japan
he published an address to "The Great and Progressive Nation of Japan," which tells in plain and
positive terms the reason why these Latter-day Saint missionaries were there. The first paragraph
of this address reads:
"In company with my associates, sent to you from the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, as an Apostle and a Minister of the Most High God I
salute and invite you to consider the important message which we bear. We do not come to you
for the purpose of trying to deprive you of any truth in which you believe, or any light which you
have been privileged to enjoy. We bring to you greater light, more truth, and an advanced
knowledge which we offer you freely. We recognize you as the children of our common Father,
the Creator of the universe. The spirits of all men are the offspring of God, therefore, men and
women of all races and kindreds and tribes, and tongues upon the face of the earth are brothers
and sisters. It is then, in the spirit of fraternity that we approach you desiring your welfare here
and hereafter. Our mission is one of duty. We have been commanded of God to proclaim his
word and will to the world. It is by divine authority that we act and not in our name or for our
personal ends. We plead with you to listen to our words."
The following is the closing paragraph:
"By this authority we turn the divine key, which opens the kingdom of heaven to the inhabitants
of Japan. We say to them all, come to the light which has been shed forth from the Son of
righteousness. We offer you blessings that are beyond price. They are not of man nor do they
come by power of man, but they are from the power of heaven where the true and living God
dwells and rules in majesty and power. That which your ancestors received which was good and
which leads to do good was but the glimmering of the twilight, We bring you the truth in all its
effulgence direct from the great luminary of the day. Turn to the light and to the truth, and walk
in the one way that leads to his divine and eternal presence. Then shall your souls be filled with
peace and love, and joy, and you shall learn how to unite with the great and pure of all nations,
and assist in the establishment of the grand empire of righteousness on the earth and hereafter
dwell with the just and the redeemed in the immediate presence of our living and eternal Father,
and your joy and dominion shall be celestial and everlasting. Your servant for Christ's sake."
After dedicating that land and laboring faithfully for eight months, he returned home and attended
the April conference, 1902. At this conference he gave the following report of their labors and the
conditions of Japan as he understood them at that time:
"We had no desire to baptize people just to make a showing. We prayed earnestly every day for
the guidance of the spirit of God. We fasted and prayed often. We had a delightful time. Time
passed very pleasantly and did not hang heavy upon our hands. * * *
"I rejoice in the testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I rejoice in the increased testimony that
my mission has given me. I never expected that it would be possible for a man of my
temperament and disposition, who from a boy of fourteen years of age had been actively engaged
in business, to forget it, and that I could content myself in a foreign land studying a language that
put me to sleep nearly every time I tried it, and yet be happy, but I was. There was the sweet spirit
of God with us. Many times in our little cottage meetings we shed tears of joy because of the
outflow of the spirit of God. If I had the privilege of picking the Church over for three
companions, I could not be better satisfied than with those that I have. I had my choice and I have
not been disappointed." After the conference he returned to Japan taking with him his wife,
Augusta, and their daughter Mary and several missionaries.
All of the original missionaries have been dead for some time. Elder Alma O. Taylor, the
youngest of them, remained in Japan for five years or more, and he had this to say:
"President Grant himself at times wondered what he had accomplished in Japan. He often told
publicly he did not learn the language, so he could not preach or teach except through untrained
interpreters. His few converts made through such inadequate interpreters later drifted away.
Concretely it all sums up to a small measure, but the writer, who stayed on in Japan long after
President Grant came home, discovered through the years so many benefits of President Grant's
policies and activities in the early months of his mission that he is convinced that President Grant
was the right man, probably the only man, for the job.
"President Grant's assignment as an Apostle was to open the door for the preaching of the gospel
in Japan. All of his official and personal acts connected with such openings were done with signal
ability. Unconsciously he acted with inspired authority. The development of after-years proved
that the Lord was not so far away as it sometimes seemed. In my opinion it is unreasonable to
think that the Lord ever intended that the peculiar equipment with which President Grant was
endowed should be stranded for long in a morass of verb conjugation and chopstick technique. As
proved by the writer through the whole period of his stay in Japan, and as proved by the facts
which came later to light, President Grant's first foreign mission, his assignment to Japan, was
"Before the Lord he was as humble as a child. The way ahead was dark and uncharted; divine
inspiration was needed and diligently sought for by prayer and fasting, counsel, and work. It was
a precious experience to be a comrade with an Apostle as he wrestled with the Lord, especially
when the ways seemed so obscure. Comparing the absence of tangible encouragement, and the
manifestation of the spirit, the experiences of the pioneer missionaries to Japan with the
abundance of such blessings enjoyed by the first missionaries to England, Hawaii, and other
countries, one can readily understand why the Japanese Mission tested to the utmost the fortitude
and faith of its founders." 1
On September 8, 1903, President Grant, his wife Augusta, and their daughter Mary sailed from
Yokohama aboard the SS Aki Mart homeward bound. The voyage was a pleasant but uneventful
one, and they rejoiced greatly to be again in their mountain home. The President had already
received his appointment to preside over the European Mission. There was a brief interval of four
months between these missions which he spent at home. They were busy months in which he
looked after his business affairs, carried on his Church work, and made preparation for his
absence of another three years.
He became president of the European Mission January 1,1904, and was released as president on
December 5, 1906; so that mission covered three years lacking a few days. He often declared that
this was one of the most delightful experiences of his life. His wife Emily and their four
daughters, Dessie, Grace, Emily, and Frances accompanied him. Of this experience he said:
The European Mission
"When in Japan, feeling that I was not accomplishing anything, I went out into the woods and got
down on my knees and told the Lord that whenever he was dirough with me there, where I was
doing nothing, I would be very glad and thankful if he would call me home, and send me to
Europe to preside over the European Mission. A few days after that a cable arrived, 'Come home
on the first boat,' and I went home.
"Brother Joseph F. Smith said to me, 'Heber, I realize you have not accomplished anything in
Japan; we sent you there for three years, and I want you to put in the other two years in England,
if you are willing.'
"I said, 1 am perfectly willing.' Later I went in to bid him good-by, and said, 'I will see you in a
little over a year.'
"He said, 'Oh, no I have decided to make it a year and a half.'
"I said, 'Multiply it by two, and do not say anything about it to me.' And he did, and I want the
young people to know that in all my labors I got nearer to the Lord and accomplished more, and
had more joy while in the mission field than ever before or since.
'Men are that they might have joy,' and the joy that I had in the mission field was superior to any I
have ever experienced elsewhere. Get it into your hearts, young people, to prepare yourselves to
go into the world where you can get on your knees and draw nearer to the Lord than in any other
His missionaries not only held him in great respect and admiration, but as they came to know him
more intimately, their admiration ripened into affection. The Saints all over the mission were
inspired by his impressive personality, the zeal and fervency of his words, and the power and
penetration of his testimony. Wherever he went, he added to the dignity of the cause which he
represented. Friends and foes alike held him in esteem and respect for his sincerity, his manly
defense of his people and his religion. He was valiant in his testimony of the truth and discharged
his duties as president with great energy and fidelity. More literature was printed, more tracts
were distributed during his administration than that of any predecessor.
He dignified and popularized the Church. Wherever he went, people came out to listen to him. He
carried high the banner of his faidi. He never compromised his religion; he was a friend-maker,
and left forever his impress upon that great mission.
Eugene Allen, his secretary, wrote:
"Throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Holland, Germany, Belgium, France,
Switzerland, Austria, and the Scandinavian countries, his coming was always heralded with great
joy by the Saints and elders. He always took with him some of the fine musicians and singers and
at these meetings seemed at his best. He gave to his listeners messages of the gospel. At the
mission home he was happy with the songs of the gospel always in his heart. He was playful in
our hours of recreation and most loving and kind to his family. "
When he went to Europe to preside, January 1904, he was in his forty-eightii year. Although he
was frail and far from being robust in health, the climate agreed with him, the work was to his
liking, and he had an opportunity to rest and recuperate. As a result, his health was improved and
he was much stronger and better when he returned than he had been when he went away. This
mission added years to his life. Mingling with the Saints and the young missionaries was a
constant joy to him.
At this time there were abroad studying a number of young people from Utah, who distinguished
themselves as singers and musicians. Prominent among these were Willard Andelin, Arvilla
Clark, and the Tout family. He often took some of these singers with him when he visited on the
continent or while traveling throughout the mission. This added attractiveness to his meetings and
contributed to the spirit and popularity of the conferences. Nephi Anderson, later author of a
number of popular books, was editor of the Millennial Star at that time. Eugene Allen of Provo
became the mission secretary and served in that capacity during most of his mission. All the
missionaries felt the vitalized influence of President Grant's leadership.
An Interview with King Oscar of Sweden, 1906
The President gave this graphic account of his visit with King Oscar of Sweden:
"It fell to my happy lot, with Brother Alex Nibley and some of my friends, to have the privilege
of calling on King Oscar on the fourth of July, 1906. With characteristic American assurance, I
presented myself at the king's palace and requested an interview. The man who came to the door
looked at me as if he thought I were crazy, not being properly presented through the minister
plenipotentiary. I wrote a letter of introduction to his majesty enclosing a letter from Governor
Heber M. Wells of the State of Utah and told him that that day, July fourth, was the day the
Americans celebrated and asked for an audience and added that I knew that I ought to be
presented in proper order, that I had letters from Utah Senators and from our minister, but the day
being the fourth of July, we hoped that he would waive all of the customary formalities necessary
to see the king. And he very kindly consented, stepped out of the palace, and greeted us. After
learning that only two or three in our party understood the Swedish language, he immediately
changed to faultless English. He was a magnificent specimen of manhood, standing over six feet
high. He made this remark to me. 'Mr. Grant, I have sent my personal representative, unknown to
the people, to nearly every state in the union of the United States to find out how my former
subjects are getting along, how they are prospering; and in no state in the union are the former
subjects of Sweden and Norway more contented, more prosperous, and happier than in Utah. As
long as I am king of Norway and Sweden, your people shall have religious liberty,
notwithstanding all the priests and religious denominations are against you." At that time the
British press was hostile toward our people. It seemed impossible to get a favorable mention in
any of the leading papers. The following incident is an indication of that attitude:
"While I was in the city of London, a gentleman there, to whom a very good friend of mine,
Alexander G. Haws, had given me a letter, kindly invited a number of newspapermen to his home
to meet me. I am very sorry that the newspapermen declined the honor, but I had the privilege of
meeting with this man and his family and a few friends and conversing with them. One of his
friends had been a member of the British legation in Constantinople and had spent a considerable
part of his life there. He had traveled all over the Holy Land and was familiar with the people and
their customs. Among other things he said, 'Mr. Grant, I was astonished beyond measure when I
visited Canada to find there oriental patterns, woven in beads by the American Indian. They were
the same patterns that were woven in rugs in the oriental countries. I have traveled extensively,
and I have never seen those oriental patterns in any other part of the world except the Holy Land
until I found them among the North American Indians. Their patterns have been handed down for
hundreds of years, from generation to generation. They are kept in families and can be found
nowhere else. How under heaven those Indians, who have no connection with the Holy Land,
should have the same patterns is a mystery to me/
'Well, my friend, if I were to inform you that the forefathers of these American Indians came
from the city of Jerusalem, that would explain it, wouldn't it?' "He replied, 'Well, of course, it
would/ "I asked him if he had ever read the Book of Mormon, and he said, 'No/
" 'Well, it will be my pleasure to send you a copy from which you will note that the forefathers of
the American Indians came from Jerusalem/
" 'Well/ he said, 'that explains the mystery. I am much obliged for the book/ " 4
The President returned home in December of 1906 and did not return to Great Britain until 1937,
when he went over to participate in the centennial celebration of the introduction of the gospel in
• VIII •
PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH 1918 - 1945
PRESIDENT Joseph F. Smith died November 19, 1918, in the Bee Hive House, Salt Lake City,
Utah. Owing to the prevalence of the flu epidemic no public funeral was held, but services were
conducted at the graveside. This great leader, who presided over the Church for seventeen years,
gave to it a distinguished administration, and his name will shine in its annals forever as one of its
greatest defenders, advocates, and leaders.
On November 23, 1918, the day following his sixty-second birthday, at a meeting of the Quorum
of the Twelve, Heber J. Grant was chosen President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints by the unanimous approval of that body. For forty years he had served as a member of the
Quorum of the Twelve, and for nearly twenty-seven years he was sustained as prophet, seer, and
revelator of the Church.
"Keep the Commandments"
President Grant's administration covered a long and progressive period. In point of time it was
only exceeded by that of President Brigham Young's. This was a significant period in the history
of the Church. When the leadership was conferred upon him, the indebtedness of the Church had
been paid, her financial credit was unquestioned, the membership of the Church was sufficiently
large and so situated as to give security to it. It could never again be driven into the wilderness
nor its members ever be denied the civil and political rights to which they are entitled. Those
tragic days were gone and gone forever.
During his predecessor's administration the organization of the priesthood had been perfected,
four temples had been dedicated in the mountains and three others were in the course of
construction. The policies and doctrines of the Church were well-defined and thus President
Grant's administration began under favorable circumstances. The adherents of the Church always
believe that the men who preside over it are divinely chosen. When Heber J. Grant came to its
leadership, he seemed preeminently fitted to make the contributions which the Church most
needed at that time. His temperament, the pattern of his mind, his zeal for any cause he espoused,
his loyalty to his people, and, above all else, his clear conception of the exalted mission and
purpose of the Church divinely fitted him for the sacred responsibility which had now been
placed upon him. This great movement was fully organized and under way, and what it needed at
the moment was the stimulation of a dynamic leader with a clear objective and a specific
It is no disparagement to say that President Grant was not a poetic, highly imaginative person. He
was neither a dreamer nor a doctrinaire. The rhapsodies of Isaiah would not make the same
appeal to his practical mind diat these words of St. James might:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart
in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are
needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. * * *
* * * know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? £X<tf°tS (James 2:14-20.)
These were his sentiments. They express his conception of religion. In a notable address at the
dedication of the Hawaiian Temple, 1919, he said, and frequently repeated it thereafter:
"It is not the miraculous testimony we may have, but it is the keeping of the commandments of
God, and living the lives of absolute purity, not only in act, but in thought that will count with the
"Keep the Commandments" was his watchword, his slogan, the burden of all that he said.
Commenting upon this, Brigham H. Roberts said:
"And is not this 'Keep the Commandments of God,' the one thing the world needs? Is not the
world tired of mouthings on formal and fine-spun ethics, and philosophical moral systems that
sever and divide a hair twixted north and the northwest side? In great spiritual and moral reforms
and world movements have not men been moved thereto by terse and condensed thunderbolt
utterance more than by quibbling refinements of thought and hesitating long-delayed deductions
until the force of realities disappear? Of course, what is here contemplated is the keeping of the
whole law of God, and die law of God wholly." 2
At a special conference held June 1, 1919, for the ratification of his nomination by the Apostles
for the office of the President of the Church, President Grant said:
"I stand here today in all humility, acknowledging my own weakness, my own lack of wisdom
and information, and my lack of ability to occupy the exalted position in which you have voted to
sustain me. But as I said as a boy in Tooele, I say here today, that by and with the help of the
Lord I shall do the best that I can to fulfil every obligation that shall rest upon me as President of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to the full extent of my ability.
"I will ask no man to be more liberal with his means than I am with mine, in proportion to what
he possesses, for the advancement of God's kingdom. I will ask no man to observe the Word of
Wisdom any more closely than I will observe it. I will ask no man to be more conscientious and
prompt in the payment of his tithes and his offerings than I will be. I will ask no man to be more
ready and willing to come early and to go late, and to labor with full power of mind and body,
than I will to labor always in humility. I hope and pray for the blessings of the Lord,
acknowledging freely, frankly, that without the Lord's blessings it will be an impossibility for me
to make a success of the high calling whereunto I have been called. But, like Nephi of old, I know
that the Lord makes no requirements of the children of men save he will prepare a way for them,
whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has required. With this knowledge in my heart I
accept the great responsibility without fear of the consequences, knowing that God will sustain
me as he has sustained all of my predecessors who have occupied this position; provided, always,
that I shall labor in humility and in diligence, ever seeking for the guidance of his Holy Spirit;
and this I shall endeavor to do." 3
He further stated:
"With the help of the Lord I shall endeavor, standing at the head of the priesthood of God upon
the earth, to exercise the authority that has come to me in keeping with that wonderful revelation:
'No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by
persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;' ... (D. C.
"God being my helper the priesthood that I hold, the position that I occupy, shall be exercised in
accordance with these words that I have quoted to you. We can do nothing as recorded in that
revelation, only as we exercise love and charity and kindness and love unfeigned. With the help
of the Lord that is exactly how I shall administer, to the best of my ability, the priesthood of God
that has come to me." 4
The whole Church is witness that he kept that pledge. What is the essence of true leadership? If
you would have men do what they ought to do, do it first and let them follow your example. That
was the practice of his life. He was a doer, a demonstrator.
His admonitions, exhortations, and appeals when reduced and analyzed, find their fulfilment in
these three words, "Keep the commandments."
During his administration, which covered more than a quarter of a century, many events of major
importance transpired. The membership of the Church increased from 500,000 to nearly a
million. It was a period of prosperity, progress, and expansion. The Church grew in prestige and
increased in popular favor. A new era had dawned, and a prominent factor in this change of
attitude was the personality of the President. During those years his health was good, he found his
place and enjoyed his work. He surrounded himself with wise and capable men, and the Church
moved forward on all fronts. With courage and humility he faced every problem and gave the
Church a brilliant administration. No compromises or involvements cast their shadow over those
years. He was a great president.
Associated with him as counselors in the First Presidency were: Anthon H. Lund, Charles W.
Penrose, Anthony W. Ivins, Charles W. Nibley, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and David O. McKay.
Taken into the Quorum of the Twelve during his presidency were: Melvin J. Ballard, John A.
Widtsoe, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Alonzo A. Hinckley, Albert E. Bowen, Harold B. Lee, Mark E.
Petersen, Spencer W. Kimball, and Ezra T. Benson. Sylvester Q. Cannon was made an Apostle at
DEDICATION OF TEMPLES
AT THE time of President Joseph F. Smith's death three Latter-day Saint temples were near
completion. Among the early events of President Grant's administration was the dedication of
The Hawaiian Temple being the first completed was dedicated November 27, 1919. In the
company that went with President Grant to Hawaii were his First Counselor, Anthon H. Lund;
Rudger Clawson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Stephen L Richards of
the membership of the Quorum, Charles W. Nibley, then Presiding Bishop of the Church; Arthur
Winters, secretary of the President's office, and Sarah J. Cannon, wife of the late President
George Q. Cannon, who was invited as a guest of honor since Elder Cannon was one of the group
of elders who had visited the islands in 1850 and who had assisted in founding the mission.
The dedicatory prayer was read by President Grant at each of the five sessions held. The
dedication was repeated five times in order that the 1,239 people in attendance at the conference,
chiefly natives, might all participate in it.
This temple is located on what is known as the plantation of Laie, on a 6,500-acre tract of land
about thirty-two miles north of Honolulu. This land was purchased for the Church in 1885. The
building is of concrete construction, laced with steel and built to resist die march of time. It was
erected at a cost of $256,000.00 and is one of the most attractive and beautiful places on the
The Canadian Temple
The Canadian Temple was the second to be dedicated. It was erected on a high elevation in the
center of Cardston on a plot of ground donated to the Church for this purpose by Charles Ora
It is one hundred eighteen feet square and is supported on its four sides by a solid granite
retaining wall 165 feet by 165 feet, the latter being some ten feet in height. Viewed from a
distance, the outline gives the impression of a great pile of granite. The massive solidity of the
structure is a witness in hewn stone of the permanence and solidity of the faith of the people who
erected it. It cost approximately a million dollars and is generally regarded as one of the very
finest buildings in Western Canada.
An invitation was extended to non-members of the Church in the vicinity to visit and pass
through all parts of the temple previous to its dedication. This enhanced the good feeling that had
prevailed among the people of the province of Alberta and the Latter-day Saints. It was dedicated,
August 26, 1923.
The dedication was an occasion of great rejoicing. Many spiritual manifestations were
experienced during the services. At the dedication Edward J. Wood was set apart as president of
the temple. Through Brother Wood's kindness and human understanding he distinguished himself
as a great temple president.
The temple at Mesa, Arizona, was completed and dedicated three years from the time the site was
chosen. So great were the crowds in attendance that four days were required for the dedication
services, which took place on October 23, 1927. This temple, like the Hawaiian and Canadian
temples, is devoid of spires and towers. It is colonial in appearance, though not of any one period.
The twenty acres upon which it stands were purchased for $20,000.00. Passing this tract is the
paved ocean-to-ocean highway, which is called the "Apache Trail." The cost of the building and
the landscaping reached $800,000. It is provided with a modern heating and cooling system and a
flood-lighting system which at night sheds a soft white glow on the beautiful structure and
grounds. This building in all respects is a great credit to the people who built it.
The exterior dimensions including the annex are 128 feet north and south and 184 feet east and
west. The foundation footings of the main building are from ten to twelve feet thick.
The city of Phoenix, the state capital of Arizona, which is but a short distance from Mesa, and all
the surrounding country have experienced an almost phenomenal growth in the last few years.
Arizona, and this section in particular, are fast becoming renowned as a winter resort.
Consequently, many Latter-day Saints who go there for the winter as well as the inhabitants from
as far south as the Colonies in Mexico are privileged to do temple work.
These temples are in far-flung places and are built for the accommodation of the Saints in these
There is something of far-reaching significance behind this great plan of temple building. Latter-
day Saints believe that a temple is a kind of halfway house between this world and the next, the
only place on earth where ordinances can be performed here that will be valid there.
The Man of Two Worlds
Temple work is directly connected with the mission of the great prophet Elijah, the man of two
worlds. Elijah came to the Kirtland Temple in 1836 to restore the keys of the priesthood that
would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. He
was taken to heaven without tasting death and made competent to minister freely both in heaven
and on earth. Through the sealing power which he conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver
Cowdery, vicarious work for the dead was restored, making it possible for all the children of our
Father, living and dead, sometime, somewhere to hear the gospel and accept it or reject it.
President Grant advocated and supported in the most practical way work for the dead. Although
he did not frequently discourse upon that subject, the records show that he has done more for his
kindred dead than has any other man. That was typical of him; that was the way he did things.
UNVEILING OF MONUMENTS
IN ADDITION to the dedication of three temples, President Grant officiated at the unveiling of
several monuments, the dedication of chapels, college buildings, schoolhouses, and seminaries.
Mormon Battalion Monument
The unveiling of the Mormon Battalion Monument took place May 30, 1927. This was an event
of historic importance. The completion of this magnificent monument, erected on the State
Capitol grounds in Salt Lake City overlooking the Salt Lake Valley, was the fulfilment of a long-
cherished dream of the battalion's daughters, who through the years, kept the campfires of their
fathers burning. As a result of their efforts the state legislature appropriated $100,000 toward the
erection of this monument contingent upon the people of the state duplicating this amount by
public subscription. After great effort and the overcoming of many obstacles the monument was
finished and unveiled on Decoration Day 1927.
Triangular in form it rises to a height of thirty-nine feet. On three sides of it are four scenes in
high relief: (1) the enlistment, (2) the march, (3) the discovery of gold in California, (4) the
entrance of the detachment into Salt Lake Valley, July 29, 1847.
At the unveiling there were present upon the Capitol grounds thousands of people, among whom
were many descendants of the battalion members and many others, including President Grant, his
Counselors, a number of the Apostles and presidents of stakes. Governor George Dern received
the completed monument from the state commission when it was unveiled. A disclosure of the
contributions would show that Heber J. Grant was among the most liberal contributors to this
The Washington Chapel
The Washington, D. C, Chapel was dedicated on Sunday morning, November 5, 1933.
Accompanying President Grant to these dedicatory services were A. W. Ivins, and J. Reuben
Clark, Jr., his Counselors; Rud-ger Clawson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve; Henry H.
Blood, governor of Utah; Don B. Colton, James H. Moyle, and many other members of the
President Grant, through the courtesy of Senator William H. King, called on Franklin D.
Roosevelt, president of the United States, and extended to him an invitation to attend the
The Washington Chapel is one of the most expensive and among the most beautiful chapels ever
erected by the Church. The building is surfaced with Utah bird's-eye marble on all sides. It is
situated at the intersection of Sixteenth, Columbia Road, and Harvard Streets, North West. The
capstone was set March 21, 1933, and unveiled ten days later. It is crowned with a ten-foot, two-
inch figure of Moroni. This figure is covered with twenty-three carat gold leaf, and is 165 feet
above the ground. The chapel has a seating capacity of 360. When the doors are opened
separating the chapel from the recreation hall, it has a capacity of 700 seats.
At all the sessions of the dedication the building was crowded beyond its capacity. President
Grant offered the dedicatory prayer, and during the day he preached to the people who thronged
to hear him. In his generous way he praised the architects who had designed the building, the
workmen who had erected it, and invoked the blessings of heaven upon all who had contributed
to its erection.
The Dedication of the Cumorah Monument
The President was seventy-nine years of age, and those were strenuous days for him. He had but
recently returned from Hawaii where he had organized the Oahu Stake of Zion. He went from
there back to New York and presided at the dedicatory services of the Hill Cumorah monument.
This remarkable monument crowns the hill in Western New York from which were taken the
plates of gold from which the Book of Mormon was translated. It is erected to Moroni and is the
only monument ever erected to a man for something he did after he was dead. Moroni was a
notable and chivalrous character, worthy of a monument for the deeds he did in the flesh, but this
shaft does not commemorate those deeds. Moroni, a resurrected and glorified person, came to
Joseph Smith direct from the presence of God, and revealed to him the whereabouts of a sacred
record preserved on gold plates. For his ministrations as an angel the Latter-day Saints have
crowned two other spires with his image. This monument is remarkable for another reason. It
commemorates, in the manner of its coming forth, the appearance of the most marvelous book in
the English language. The origin of the Book of Mormon puts it clearly in a class by itself. The
appearance of the Angel Moroni to Joseph Smith and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon
add the most comforting and glorious testimonies to the reality of the resurrection from the dead
that have ever been given to mortal man. Think of it! This book is a material reality; it has weight
and dimensions; it can be handled, lifted, and read. No one has ever been able to invalidate
Joseph Smith's statement as to its origin. The existence of this book is proof positive of the visit
of the Angel Moroni, and the visit of the angel proves the certainty of the resurrection.
Consider for a moment the character of the people who have erected this monument. They are not
an emotional, fanatical group of zealots. On the contrary, they are recognized everywhere as a
practical, thoroughgoing, realistic people, and this is a demonstration of their faith. Referring to
this monument, Dr. Joseph F. Merrill said:
"Like a sentinel, this monument crowns the noble hill on which it is erected and stands there as an
enduring challenge to all the world to examine this book. It proclaims the confidence of the
Church in the genuineness of the book and in effect, the willingness of the Church to stand or to
fall on the question of its genuine-ness.
The dedication of this monument was the occasion for nation-wide publicity. Many reporters and
photographers were present, and through their established channels they told the story of the
restoration of the gospel as they heard it at this gathering. The newspapers gave a fair and friendly
account of the dedication. The old animosity had disappeared. A Rochester paper printed the
history of the Church in instalments, giving a detailed account of the unveiling with many
illustrations. Other papers featured a full page of Mormon pictures and stories. The dedicatory
conference lasted for three days, July 21 to 24th, inclusive. Between four hundred and five
hundred people attended the meetings on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, held in the Sacred
In the dedicatory prayer President Grant recited the evidences that had been uncovered
confirming the genuineness and divinity of the Book of Mormon. He praised and thanked the
Lord for the restoration of the Aaronic and Holy Melchizedek priesthoods and for the
organization of the Church. He recited the persecutions and expulsions of the Saints from
Missouri and Illinois and their establishment in the mountains, and rejoiced that they had become
a great and mighty people in fulfilment of prophecy, and concluded with these words:
"We dedicate the hill itself and the grounds surrounding it and all the material that has been used
in this monument, and we do humbly pray unto thee that it may be preserved from the elements
and that it may stand as a testimony of God, of Jesus Christ, and of the dealings of Jesus Christ
with the people that lived anciently upon this continent. These things we do in humility, in
gratitude and thanksgiving to thee, and we do it by the authority of the priesthood of God and in
the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
Winter Quarters Memorial
The next important service of dedication at which the President officiated occurred Sunday,
September 20, 1936, at Florence, Nebraska, when the Winter Quarters Memorial was unveiled
The advance company of the exiled Saints reached Winter Quarters from Nauvoo on June 14,
1846. Here a thousand log houses with the necessary mills, workshops, and other buildings were
erected before January of 1847. In this city and its neighborhood were settled for a brief period
most of the Saints, widi their wagons and herds of cattle, horses, mules, and flocks of sheep,
which they had brought with them from Nauvoo. Schools and churches were provided overnight,
as it were, and a city appeared on the prairie. It seemed a miracle. During the winter and fall of
1846-7 hundreds of these weary, underfed refugees, reduced in physical resistance, were die easy
prey of a scourging sickness. More than six hundred died in and about Winter Quarters, and most
of them he buried in the cemetery marked by this beautiful monument. All along the long trail
from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City, a distance of 1500 miles, more than 6,000 emigrants were buried.
In their memory and to their honor this monument was erected. They crossed prairies and deserts,
toiled and suffered and laid down their lives, not to win land or gold, but to possess eternal truth.
The trek of the Latter-day Saints over this road by ox team, handcart, and on foot, began in 1 846
and ended with the advent of the railroad in 1869. About 80,000 undertook the journey; 6,000
died on the way. The story of their journey is filled with episodes of unsurpassed human heroism,
courage, sacrifice, suffering, and sorrow, made endurable by the living fire of faith.
This monument was conceived and executed by Dr. Avard Fairbanks, dean of the School of Fine
Arts, University of Utah, who is a descendant of one who lies buried in Winter Quarters. The
figures on the monument represent a father and mother who have just laid away a beloved child
in a prairie grave. They must continue the journey, perhaps to face more hardships, and leave
behind this grave with its memories. Together they stand by the fresh grave, looking with
unfaltering faith into eternity.
President Grant presided, delivered an address, and pronounced the dedicatory prayer at the
Winter Quarters Monument. Participating in these exercises were the Honorable Dan Butler,
mayor of Omaha; the Honorable R. Checkren, governor of Nebraska; and Carl R. Gray, president
of the Union Pacific Railroad. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., delivered the main address.
AS THE Church neared the end of its first century, the days of its poverty, tribulation, and
persecution were gone, but they were still green in the memories of many of its members who,
with eager anticipation, looked forward to celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of its
founding and some of the other great events preceding and connected with its organization.
During the April conference of 1920, the one hundredth anniversary of Joseph Smith's First
Vision was celebrated by special services throughout the entire Church. Evan Stephens' cantata,
The Vision, especially written for that occasion, was presented in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
The Eastern States Mission celebrated the centennial anniversary of the revealed existence of the
plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Conferences were held at the Joseph
Smith Farm near Palmyra, New York, and at the Hill Cumorah, continuing through three days
from and including September 21 to 23, 1923. President and Mrs. Grant honored the occasion by
their presence as did a number of other Church officials. It was estimated that during this
conference from 2,000 to 3,000 people were in attendance.
Three meetings were held each day, those held in the morning and afternoon alternated between
the Hill Cumorah and the Sacred Grove. The evening meetings were held in a large assembly
tent, set up near the Smith farm home. The last day of the celebration was on Sunday. The
morning meeting was held in the Sacred Grove where the holy sacrament was administered to a
large assembly of Saints and elders. It was an unusual meeting. The peace of heaven was shed
upon the hearts of all present. The majesty of his holy calling rested in power upon the modern-
day prophet as he testified that die Living God and his Son Jesus Christ had appeared in person to
Joseph Smith in that grove. The afternoon sessions were held on the summit of Cumorah.
Four years later President Grant and some of the Eastern States missionaries with their mission
president, Judge Henry H. Rolapp, and Charles H. Hart, president of the Canadian Mission, and
other leading brethren and sisters of the Church, attended the one hundredth anniversary of the
deliverance of the gold plates (of the Book of Mormon) to Joseph Smith for translation. Again
meetings were held at the Hill Cumorah and in the Sacred Grove, and again there was great
rejoicing in the celebration of the anniversary of such an important event in this new dispensation.
It might be interesting at this point to know how the Church came in possession of the Hill
Cumorah and the tract of land surrounding it. The first purchase was the Inglis farm of ninety-six
acres lying on both sides of the Canandaigua and Palmyra road running along the west edge and
extending about one -third the distance up the Hill Cumorah. On February 27,1928, the Church
purchased from the heirs of Pliny T. Sexton what is known as the "Mormon Hill Farm." This
brought into the possession of the Church the whole of the Hill Cumorah and the surrounding
acreage. Included in the entire purchase were 283 acres.
Prior to this, September 27, 1927, the Church purchased from Joseph H. Manges what is known
as the Peter Whitmer Farm, the old homestead of Whitmer's at Fayette, Seneca County, New
York, where the Church was organized, April 6, 1 830. On this farm is a substantial farmhouse
which, if it is not the very house in which the Church was organized, is a house of about that
period, and as such it is the object of great interest.
The Centennial Celebration of the Organization
of the Church
About a year previous to this celebration a special committee was appointed to take under
advisement the nature of the program. This committee consisted of George Albert Smith,
chairman; David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Melvin J. Ballard, members of the Quorum
of the Twelve; Brigham H. Roberts, Rulon S. Wells, of the First Council of the Seventy;
Sylvester Q. Cannon, Presiding Bishop of the Church, and LeRoi E. Snow, secretary.
The committee met at intervals and finally made its report which consisted of the following
suggestions: (1) the convening of the regular annual conference, and in this case the centennial
conference of the Church on April 6th which fell on Sunday; the forenoon meeting to be a
priesthood meeting of the whole Church through representatives arranged as a general assembly
of the priesthood, the several quorums to be placed in the order of their standing and to vote
separately in supporting the representative officers of the priesthood of the Church and then to
vote en masse, (2) the illumination of the Salt Lake Temple, (3) the publication of a
comprehensive history of the Church, covering the first century, (4) the arrangement of a pageant,
representing "God's Message of the Ages," to be given in the evening of the 6th of April in the
tabernacle, (5) the continuation of the general conference of the Church this centennial year for
four days. This program was approved and carried out to the joy of the tens of thousands of
Latter-day Saints assembled in Salt Lake City and to the hundreds of thousands throughout the
world who attended by radio.
After the vote to sustain the General Authorities of the Church came Israel's shout of joy,
"Hosanna, Ho-sanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb. Amen, Amen, and Amen." This was led by
President Grant, three times repeated, and attended by the rhythmical waving of white
handkerchiefs by the members of the great congregation. This was an impressive sight. The
congregation's shout of "Hosanna," together with the Tabernacle Choir's rendition of Handel's
glorious and joyous chorus "Hallelujah" from the Messiah, filled with unspeakable emotion all
who heard it.
At the morning session of the last day President Grant delivered a blessing upon the world, one of
the noblest and most inspired utterances that ever fell from his lips. These utterances were
altogether worthy of Gods mouthpiece upon the earth. He closed with these words:
"I bless you one and all, and all Israel, and every honest-hearted soul in all the world who is
trying to do good, and I do it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world,
and by the authority of the Living God and the priesthood that I hold. Amen."
The deep silence that pervaded the great assembly during the delivery of this official blessing of
God upon the world was a most fitting accompaniment. There are times when nothing is so fitting
or so eloquent as silence. This was one of the occasions.
Elder Orson F. Whitney of the Council of the Twelve read an original poem he had prepared for
the occasion. This poem was worthy of the exalted title it bore, "A Lifted Ensign." Brigham H.
Roberts, President of the First Council of the Seventy, reported the completion of five of the six-
volume Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Century I.
The climax of this great celebration was "The Message of the Ages." A spacious stage was
constructed in the west end of the tabernacle in front of the great organ. The following
explanatory note accompanied the official text of the printed words of the pageant:
The MESSAGE OF THE AGES is a presentation of the outstanding features of the Lord's
dealings with man in this world existence.
Be it known that the gospel planned in the councils of heaven was known to the ancients,
preached by Christ in the Meridian of Time, and after a "Great Falling Away," that this same
gospel was again revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith and restored in these last days, a century
ago, and that through the martyrdom of the Prophet and faith and patience and heroic toil of his
people, the Lord hath brought again Zion, and established her among the hills, and that by
walking in his ways, the children of men may find peace and happiness and the "more abundant
The pageant is divided into a prologue and three periods, viz.:
THE ANCIENT DISPENSATIONS
THE MESSIANIC DISPENSATION
THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULNESS OF TIMES
The story is told in narrative, tableau, and processional, with organ, orchestral, and choral music.
The Music of the Pageant
"The unfolding theme of the ages with its introductions and interludes and climaxes was
accompanied by appropriate music upon the great organ, supplemented by the McCune School of
Music Orchestra, and vocal renditions of solos and choruses by the Tabernacle choir, under the
general leadership of Anthony C. Lund, director, with Tracy Y. Cannon, organist for the pageant,
and Frank W. Asper, conductor of the orchestra.
Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. VI, p. 545.
"The whole pageant was dedicated to Heber J. Grant, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of
"Admission was free, but by tickets for reserved seats. The admission of non-Mormons was
practically on the same terms as Church members, which brought thousands of non-Church
members to witness and to appreciate and praise the pageant. It scored a great success. Features
of it were filmed from the steps of the State Capitol to be used by the movie film companies
"The request for tickets was so overwhelming and widespread drat one extension after another
was made until it was decided to continue the presentation until the 5th of May. Planned for one
week, it ran for thirty performances. More than 1500 men, women, and children were required for
"Century one of the history of the Church of the new dispensation came to its close with the
evening's pageantry in a blaze of glory."
Impressive is the comparison between the centennial celebration and what took place one
hundred years prior, when on April 6th, 1830, in the obscure home of "Father Peter Whitmer," in
Fayette, Seneca County, State of New York, United States of America, the Church was
organized. Present at that meeting were six young men, and a few of their friends, both men and
women. These six young men consisted of Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith,
Peter Whitmer, Jr., Samuel H. Smith, and David Whitmer. Three others had been baptized, but
these six effected the organization by consenting to the organization being made, and accepted
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery as the first and second elders, respectively, of the Church.
After which Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery ordained each other to the positions for which
they had been chosen. The sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered to those who had
been previously baptized and now confirmed members of the Church, and received the Holy
Ghost by the laying on of hands. Some enjoyed the gift of prophecy and all rejoiced exceedingly.
"Four other persons were baptized after the organization was effected, two of them the father and
mother of the Prophet.
"The origin of the Church was obscure, being known only in the immediate vicinity of the
Whitmer farm home.
Here is a brief account of the centennial conference:
"April 6th 1930: The conference on the 6th day of April 1930 was held in the Salt Lake
Tabernacle, on Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah, capable of seating eight thousand people,
and it was filled to capacity by representatives of the Priesthood of the Church alone. Thousands
thronged the beautiful Temple Square grounds outside, unable to get into the Tabernacle, but
heard the proceedings with the aid of loud-speakers on the grounds and in surrounding buildings;
hundreds of thousands heard the proceedings of the conference in all parts of the intermountain
west, for thousands of miles in extent; and by provision of a national radio hook-up for the next
afternoon (April 7) seven to ten million heard the great 'Mormon' Tabernacle organ and choir
render some of the hymns and anthems of the New Dispensation. And the press throughout the
land-throughout the world, in every land carried telegraphic reports and editorial comments upon
the proceedings of this day's conference." 2
It was estimated that the Church had 700,000 members in 1930.
After One Hundred Years
The centennial celebration commemorating the introduction of the gospel to the British Isles was
observed during the year 1937. Although the President was past eighty years of age, he went to
this celebration and, before returning to the states, traveled for three months throughout the
European Mission to the delight of thousands of members who had never before seen a President
of the Church.
Heber C. Kimball, one of the first missionaries to carry the gospel to England, stated, "On Sunday
the fourth day of June, 1837, the Prophet Joseph came to me while I was seated in front of the
stand above the sacrament table on the Melchizedek side of the temple in Kirtland and whispered
to me, 'The spirit of the Lord has whispered to me to let my servant Heber go to England to open
the doors of salvation to that nation/ " 3
That was a memorable day in the life of Heber C. Kimball and also in the history of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With humility and misgivings Elder Kimball responded, and on
July 1, 1837, with Orson Hyde, Dr. Willard Richards, Joseph Fielding, John W. Goodson, Isaac
Russell, and John Snyder, went aboard the sailing vessel Garrick. On July 20th they anchored in
Liverpool, England. They remained in England for eight months.
After a brief time spent in the city of Liverpool, they were inspired to go to Preston, England, a
manufacturing town on the river Ribble, which was about thirty miles in a northern direction from
Liverpool. It was election day in Preston. The noble Queen Victoria had ascended the throne but a
short time before these missionaries arrived in Great Britain, and she had called for a general
election for members of Parliament. The town was at its gayest — bands were playing; flags were
flying; men, women and children were parading. The streets were bedecked with colored
streamers and ribbons bearing mottos and catch phrases, such as one would expect to see on an
occasion of great public moment. Supporters of the candidates had apparently left nothing undone
that would add to this day's festivities. Just as the coach carrying the missionaries reached its
destination, a large banner was unfurled almost over then heads. In bold letters it bore the
inscription: "TRUTH WILL PREVAIL." With joy in their hearts these missionaries of the truth
caught the spirit of this favorable moment and cried aloud "Thanks be to God, truth will prevail."
The next day was Sunday, and at three o'clock in the afternoon the first gospel sermon delivered
on English soil in this dispensation was preached in Vauxhall by Heber C. Kimball.
During the one hundred years from 1837 to 1937, 5,294 missionaries went to Great Britain. The
recorded baptisms for the same period were 126,593. During those years the immigration,
according to Church records, was 52,387. Many may have come to the United States as
individuals or in smaller groups. The greatest number of converts for any decade was from 1850
to 1860. Not all of those who were baptized remained faithful to the Church. Many did not, but
no one can estimate the value of the contribution made to the Church by those who received the
gospel in that land. In addition to the thousands of stalwart men and women, honest-hearted,
thorough-going people, a long line of illustrious leaders came from Europe: such men as George
Q. Cannon, Charles W. Penrose, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Nibley, James E.
Talmage, John A. Widtsoe, Brigham H. Roberts, Karl G. Maeser, William Budge, and many
others. Five of these men served as members of the First Presidency and several as presidents of
the European Mission. They were among the most brilliant leaders with which this Church has
President Grant and his associates left Salt Lake City, June 13, 1937, and returned Sunday,
September 12, just three months from the day they left. In then-visits to these missions and
branches of the Church, they were accompanied by the presidents of the respective missions.
People by the hundreds came out to hear them.
They were greatly impressed by the words and appearance of the President of the Church. On his
return he said, "It melted my heart to find how anxious the people who are in those countries are
to see the Authorities of the Church. Their hearts swelled with gratitude to see President Clark,
myself, and others who were with us. I feel really and truly ashamed of myself that I have
neglected so long returning to that part of the flock. They are just as much a part of this Church as
we are, and the Lord helping us, they shall not be neglected in the future as they have been in the
past. They are a part of the work of God. They are entitled to a visit every year by some of the
leaders of the Church. We have taken care of our people here at home, and we have sadly
neglected those fine people over there in those countries. Pardon me, but I do feel in my heart
condemned that I did not take time to go back there sooner. If the Lord spares my life, I am not
going to wait very long before going back again." 4
OTHER MAJOR EVENTS
ADJUSTMENTS are necessary for survival in a fast-moving world, especially with a great
organization like the Church. This does not imply changes in doctrines, in accepted standards of
conduct, or in the fundamentals of organization.
The educational policy of the Church was changed during President Grant's time. It has always
been the ideal of the Latter-day Saint leaders and Church members that education should include
daily religious instruction as well as secular training.
To meet that demand the people developed a rather elaborate Church school system within the
territory occupied by the Church during territorial days. The public lands usually granted to states
for educational purposes were not available in Utah. The territorial period was extended for forty
years. In the meantime, academies and seminaries were established by the Church. In all, nineteen
academies, eight seminaries, and three schools for higher education, Brigham Young University
at Provo, the Brigham Young College at Logan, and the L.D.S. College in Salt Lake City.
Prior to President Grant's time it had become apparent that the Church must retire from the large
part it was taking in secular education in Utah and throughout the Church, and transfer that
responsibility to the state where it legitimately belonged; but there was no abandonment on the
part of the Church of its policy to provide religious instruction in connection with secular
As matters now stand this is the plan. The Primary organization, a Church auxiliary, meets one
day each week for religious instruction and training of Latter-da}' Saint children of the
elementary grades, from the kindergarten through the sixth.
Religious instruction is provided in the junior and
senior high schools by seminaries, which have been
/.Wished wherever the Church population will justify.
Institutes are seminaries on a university level. The Church has endeavored to erect suitable
buildings adjacent to universities where the Latter-day Saint population warrants doing so. It
employs men and women whose educational standing and teaching ability rank with the teachers
in the university. Durins: released hours daily religious instruction is given. This plan enables the
Church to reach a far greater number of its young people and at far less expense. Brigham Young
University has been retained as an institution of higher learning. This plan was completed during
President Grant's administration. He was a loyal and liberal supporter of education.
Tabernacle Choer Broadcasts
The inauguration of the national broadcast of the jernacle Choir on Sunday morning took place
during President Grant's administration. He was enthusiastic over it. To his farseeing mind it was
an event of great significance. Probably no other agency employed by the Church has been more
effective in creating good will and sending abroad the spirit of peace than this national broadcast
of die great choir.
On October 17, 1948, die choir celebrated its one thousanddi broadcast presentation. Following
the regular broadcast on that morning a short program was presented in the Tabernacle, a feature
of which was a brief address by President George Albert Smith extending the greetings and the
thanks of die Church membership the world over for the service of the choir. President Smith
related an experience which he had while on a mission in the South Sea Islands. He said that a
great crowd of natives were all seated on die ground listening intendy and widi deep appreciation
to die broadcast of the choir, though thousands and diousands of miles away.
Mayor Earl J. Glade, who was active in the initiation of this program and who could properly be
called the father of the Tabernacle broadcasts, extended to the choir the thanks of die city of Salt
Lake for the service, prestige, and advertising die choir had brought to the city. He referred to die
smoodi program operation of the one thousandth broadcast as compared with the first broadcast.
Mayor Glade told how the announcer, Ted Kimball, stood on a ladder to speak into a single
microphone which had to serve the speaker, die organ, and the entire choir. Then Kimball had to
race over to the Beneficial Life Building widi diis single microphone to be used for other
In all the years since its beginning not a broadcast has ever been missed. The programs have
reached the ends of the earth and have carried messages of inspiration and comfort to millions of
No other crisis has risen since the days of Nauvoo which has demonstrated more fully the faith of
this people, the effectiveness of the Church organization, and the inspiration and courage of its
leadership than the depression of 1935. A survey made at that time showed clearly what a dire
situation confronted the Church.
The First Presidency faced the facts and provided the remedy. Among the several distressing
disclosures of this survey the following may be mentioned:
Eighteen percent of the entire Church membership were receiving relief — a total of 88,460
persons. Of this number 80,247 received relief from the county, and 8,213 received relief from
The First Presidency in a message of October, 1936, said:
"Our primary purpose was to set up as far as it might be possible a system under which the curse
of idleness would be done away with, the evil of the dole abolished, and independence, industry,
thrift, and self-respect be once more enthroned among our people. The aim of the Church is to
help people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle in the lives of
the Church members.
"This is the essence of the Church security program. Not merely that men shall be fed and
We know this is important, but that the eternal man should be built up by self-reliance, by
creative activity, by honorable labor, by service. A generation raised in idleness cannot maintain
its integrity. A generation that expects its government to perform miracles places mortgages upon
the present and on the eternal future. A generation that lives by the efforts of others grows soft
and strays from the principles and ideals that have built its heritage.
"From the beginning the long-range objective of the Welfare Plan was to build character in the
members of the Church, both givers and receivers alike, thus rescuing all that is finest down deep
inside of them and bringing to flower and fruitage the latent richness of the spirit which after all is
the mission and purpose and reason for the being of the Church." 1
No other organization on earth could have carried out this plan and accomplished its purposes so
well as did the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An immediate and accurate survey
was made all over the Church to discover all who were in need of anything, and then a budget
was set up. The Church leaders knew therefore what was necessary to produce and then allocated
to the various stakes the amount and kind they should produce to meet this budget. The stakes
responded; that was the crux of it all. They raised wheat and made it into flour. They established
dairies and creameries and converted the milk into dairy products. They raised beef, mutton,
hogs, and processed and preserved the meat. They constructed and equipped sawmills, sawed
lumber, and produced building blocks, operated coal mines, equipped canneries to preserve the
food and products, made storage structures for vegetables; they equipped and operated clothing
factories, manufactured, reclaimed, salvaged, and produced the commodities needed for human
comfort. Thus they made provisions for the comfort and help of those requiring help and added
materially to the total amount of available goods.
President Grant said:
"This is one of the greatest and most important things that this Church has ever undertaken to put
over, and it will be put over because we have the ability and the faith to do it." 2
The aged President not only stepped forward as leader of the people in this great crisis, but he did
as he had always done, led in individual contributions. He gave to the welfare plan 5,670 acres of
land valued at $25,000. This was a magnificent gift on the part of the President. Some criticized
him, saying that the farm wasn't productive, that he had been given credit for more than it was
worth. This disturbed him. He went to Nephi were the farm is located prepared to redeem the
farm and give them the money if they preferred it, but they preferred to keep the farm. It is known
as Dog Valley Farm and is located southwest of Nephi in Juab County.
The Church rose magnificently to this great emergency, putting into operation a plan which at
once attracted the attention and the favorable comment of the entire nation. Nothing else has ever
brought to the Church so much favorable publicity as this program has. Effort was made at once
to see that everybody was taken care of, and the independence and self-respect of the people re-
established. This is a demonstration standing without a parallel in the nation. It has grown 'to be
one of the great institutions of the Church. The history of its growth and development and service
would fill a volume.
If one were called upon to name the most outstanding contribution that was made during
President Grant's administration, one would injustice be forced to say: the Church welfare
program. Members of the Church the world over have been its beneficiaries. In all the war-
stricken countries where Saints are located, an earnest effort has been made to help them, to
supply them with the necessities of life. The welfare program has developed a spirit of
brotherhood which has permeated the entire Church. The priesthood has functioned more
effectively as a result of it. Under this plan the needs of everybody were provided, but the basic
principle remains throughout the entire program that those who are able must give service for
what they get. No man shall live scot-free on another man's toil.
If all churches in this land were to care for their members in this way, it would remove a heavy
and dangerous burden from the county, state, and nation, restore the independence and self-
respect of the people, and would remove the creeping dangers of socialistic paternalism.
The dignity and welfare of the individual must be the first concern of the Church and the state.
This is the end sought in the welfare program, and permeating all its activities is tire Christian
Russia's Warfare On Religion
In view of the turmoil that vexes the world because of Soviet Russia's attitude toward
democracies, it is interesting to recall a meeting which was held in Salt Lake City in 1930. This
was an international protest of religious bodies in the United States against Soviet Russia's effort
to destroy religion by a universal destruction of churches, synagogues, books, and records on the
subject of religion. Practically all nations were aroused against Russia's warfare on religion.
This meeting was held March 24, 1930, in the great Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. The following
ministers participated in the program: Rabbi Kirkstine, Bishop Arthur W. Moulton, Reverend
Arthur C. Price, and Bishop Duane G. Hunt. President Grant presided and presented the speakers.
The invocation was offered by President Charles W. Nibley, and the benediction was pronounced
by President Anthony W. Ivins. Bishop Moulton said:
"If Russia closes her Churches, its government will perish. No government can take away from its
people their birthright of freedom to worship as they please."
President Grant was the closing speaker. He read the eleventh article of our faith, setting forth the
attitudes of the Latter-day Saints with reference to religious freedom.
We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own
conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they
He supplemented this with reference to the 84th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, and he
concluded with these words:
"Reports are that Soviet Russia is not permitting this human right, and where that is the case we
solemnly protest against any and all nations who have failed to do so."
In closing the great congregation sang "America."
Russia, through Communism, has become a menace to the peace of the world, and the shadows of
war darken the horizon as a result of her behavior.
HEBER J. GRANT will go down in history for his advocacy and defense of several important
tenets of the Church. Not only did he support one hundred per cent the Church and all that it
stands for, but he also selected some particular doctrines to which he gave great emphasis.
Among these were the Word of Wisdom, the encouragement of home industry, and the financial
support of the Church. In his adherence to and advocacy of these practical things he revealed his
understanding of the price that every member of the Church must pay for exaltation in the
kingdom of God. "Faith without works is dead."
Up to the time of his death no other man matched him in his effort to promote and defend the
Word of Wisdom. All his days he pleaded with the Latter-day Saints to subscribe to this law that
they might reap the blessings predicated upon its observance. He fought for it with all the zeal of
his great soul and stood to the day of his death its unrivaled champion.
There was no argument raised against it that he did not combat with all the power at his
command. To his practical mind it seemed utterly inconsistent, if not suicidal, for this people to
deliberately deny themselves the priceless blessings promised by the Lord to those who would
observe diis law. In his great zeal he was actuated by no motive other than the welfare of the
people. His militant and aggressive defense of the Word of Wisdom was distasteful to some who
did not subscribe to it. Those who did not observe it did not like to be told about it. He himself
was a shining example of all that he pleaded for. He observed the Word of Wisdom. He was
prospered; his days were multiplied; his efficiency was increased; and the blessings of heaven
were showered upon him. Time vindicated Heber J. Grant in his valiant and steadfast advocacy of
this divine plan for rational living.
"I believe as firmly as I believe that I am standing here before you today, on three separate and
distinct occasions in my life, I would have lost my life if I had not been an observer of the Word
of Wisdom, but on account of the pure blood I had in my veins and the promise of God and the
keeping of the commandments of God, my life has been spared.
"I have urged upon the people the observance of the Word of Wisdom and have been called a
crank for so doing, and I am converted beyond the shadow of a doubt that no man or woman in
the Church who does not observe the Word of Wisdom can grow and increase in a knowledge
and testimony of the gospel as he or she could otherwise." 1
Early and late, in season and out of season, for more than sixty years he advocated the Word of
Wisdom and fought vigorously for prohibition. The repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment by the
voters of Utah was a profound disappointment to the President, but he accepted it in a spirit of
tolerance. After the verdict was in, President Grant publicly declared in the Salt Lake Tabernacle:
"I feel to have charity at the present time for the Latter-day Saints who have voted for the repeal
of the Eighteenth Amendment notwithstanding the fact that they knew very well without my
coming out and saying, I want you to do it, but I would have been mighty happy if they had voted
the other way. * * *
"I believe men that have lived the gospel just as well as I have ever lived it, many of them were
conscientious in voting for the repeal. * * *
"I do not feel harshness, but I am very grateful indeed that the repeal of the Eighteenth
Amendment will not make any difference to any true Latter-day Saint. No Latter-day Saint will
patronize those things when the Lord has told us that it is his will that we let them alone. If our
people are going to take license to follow after the things of the world and the people of the world
and to do those diings which the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches them not to do, they are not living
their religion. So really a repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment will make no difference
whatsoever to the true Latter-day Saint. * * *
"Never in the history of the Church have we needed so much as we do today the Word of
Wisdom. No nation can ever prosper, this nation being no exception, that undertakes to pay part
of its obligation, and to build up the nation by licensing the sale of liquor and allowing people to
make billions upon billions of dollars by selling liquor. * * *
"I have never felt so humiliated in my life over anything as the state of Utah voting for the repeal
of prohibition. I do not want to dictate to any man, but when the Lord gives a revelation and tells
me what is for my financial benefit and the financial benefit of his people because of evils and
designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last day, I do think that at
least the Latter-day Saints should listen to what the Lord has said. * * *
"I have been requested time and time again, principally by anonymous letters, 'For heaven's sake,
find a new subject, quit preaching so much on the Word of Wisdom.' Never in all my life have I
fought and pleaded and been convinced that the Latter-day Saints need the Word of Wisdom so
much as they need it today. Why? Because the whole United States has discarded prohibition.
They have gone back to liquor. This they have done because the cry went up There is more
drunkenness — there is more drinking of whiskey under prohibition than there was before.' Pardon
me, but all of the advertisements of that kind were pure unadulterated falsehoods." 2
In the October conference 1933 he said: "I have heard any number of Latter-day Saints say, The
Word of Wisdom is not a commandment.' What does the Word of Wisdom say? It is the mind and
the will of the Lord. It was given in consequence of the evils and designs which do and will exist
in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days. And a more damnable and evil design was never
in the heart of any man than the advertisements that we see on billboards showing a beautiful
woman with an engagement or wedding ring, the smoke of the cigaret making the ring. What is
the purpose of these advertisements? To get money by selling cigarets to destroy the mind, and
the body, and the intelligence of the boys and girls. I get 'hot under the collar/ as the saying is,
every time I think of the millions upon millions and billions upon billions of cigarets that are
In the April conference of 1916 he said, "I hold in my hands a little pamphlet of which I have
given away hundreds of copies. It is entitled 'The Case Against the Little White Slaver/ It is a
book against the cigaret, published in a pamphlet form by Henry Ford. 3
"Some years ago we had on our Mutual Improvement course of reading a book entitled The
Strength of Being Clean, by David Starr Jordan.
"President Joseph F. Smith remarked that it was one of the finest endorsements by a great
educator of the inspiration of God to Joseph Smith in giving the Word of Wisdom that had ever
been published by a non-Mormon. David Starr Jordan is not only a national but also an
international character." 4
The world owes a debt of gratitude to those intrepid fighters who have gone fearlessly forth to
battle against the adversaries of men's souls. Foremost among those gallant champions stands the
stalwart and shining figure of Heber J. Grant. Time has vindicated his stand. It is gratifying to all
his friends and his co-religionists to know what the record is after one hundred years. In the first
place Latter-day Saints live longer than other people, and if they do not, they ought to, and there
is nothing miraculous about it.
It is more gratifying to note, after one hundred years, what the verdict is, measured by the
achievements of the Latter-day Saints in the fields of education and leadership. A careful
examination of the record shows that the Lord has made good his promise to his people.
"The first of the recent non-governmental evidences here to be cited comes from a book titled
Education-Americas Magic, by Dr. Raymond M. Hughes, president Emeritus of Iowa State
College, and William H. Lancelot, professor of vocational education at Iowa State College. From
this book, published and copyrighted by Iowa State College Press at Ames, Iowa, in 1946, we
quote by permission:
"The author's preface states that 'One of the purposes of this book is to determine the approximate
position of each state in the educational procession of America.'
"In this work the relative performance of the states is measured by the following criteria:
1. accomplishment in education (Utah, 1st place)
2. ability to support education (Utah, 32nd place)
3. the degree in which accomplishment is commensurate with ability (Utah, 1st place)
4. the degree of effort to provide for education (Utah, 4th place)
5. efficiency of education effort (Utah, 1st place)
6. educational level of the adult population (Utah, 1st place)" 5
Added to the weight of the foregoing, is that of a study made by Professor Edward L. Thorndike.
Dr. Thorndike, professor emeritus of Columbia University, undertook to determine the origins of
Americas men of achievement and men of science. This was done at the request of the Carnegie
Foundation for Educational Advancement. He turned to the three standard compilations: Who's
Who in America, Leaders in Education, and American Men of Science. All who had been found
worthy of inclusion in these books were classified according to the place of their birth. The
number of distinguished men in achievement or in science or in both in proportion to the
population was determined for each state in the Union.
— "In the number of men of achievement, Utah was the highest and led the nearest state,
Massachusetts, by about twenty per cent. In the number of men of science, Utah was the highest
and led the nearest state, Colorado, by about thirty percent. In science, certainly, and in
achievement, probably success implies previous education. * * *
"At the close of the first century since the pioneers undertook to make the great deserts of the
West their home, the Latter-day Saints present a picture of educational achievement second to
none in America or in the world." 6
These compilations and conclusions by eminent men, who are in no way biased in favor of the
Church, are most gratifying. Think of it, the education level of the adult population of Utah is the
highest in the world. Latter-day Saints may be justified in feeling some symptoms of pride in this
great achievement, and surely the observance of the Word of Wisdom imperfectly practiced as it
is, has been a determining factor in this work.
The Word of Wisdom may not be the sole cause for the Latter-day Saints moving to the front of
the world in education and achievement, but health and achievement go hand in hand, and the
Word of Wisdom as a revealed law of rational living makes this dual contribution to it.
Heber J. Grant probably died ignorant of these facts, but no other man in the first hundred years
of the Church, the hundred years that followed the declaration of the Word of Wisdom by the
Prophet, was more valiant in its advocacy than he was; no one else made a more effective
contribution to this end than he did.
The great objects for which men toil and sacrifice, struggle and hope, live and die, have been
most effectively promoted through the observance of this great law of rational living. The Word
of Wisdom is one of the great causes for which he fought nobly.
This story, which he occasionally told, is a demonstration of his philosophy: "I heard Bishop
Ferrell some years ago in the Assembly Hall tell a very good story of home manufacture. He said
he believed in home manufacture because it benefited him as well as other people. He said that
when he was coming down to conference he met at the depot a brother to whom he owed $5.00
for making some shoes for his children. He gave this brother the $5.00, and he turned around and
handed the money to another brother whom he owed, and he handed it to another, and he handed
it to another, and the f ourth brother came up and handed it back to Bishop Ferrell saying, 1 owe
you $6.00, here is $5.00 of it.' Bishop Ferrell put the money back into his pocket. That money
paid five hundred per cent in debts and happened in about the same length of time that it takes to
tell this story, but if the bishop had bought the imported goods, it would not have paid the five
hundred per cent because it would have gone out of the country." 7
He said forty years ago, "I know that it is beneficial to any community to raise and manufacture
the things which they use. I believe it is a disgrace to us as a people that we are importing
chickens, turkeys and butter by the carloads. This community ought to produce all of these things,
and it is a reflection on us that we bring them from abroad. I believe that no greater benefit or
uplift can come to a people than the establishment of industries whereby the young can be
He lived to see the fulfilment of many of the things for which he labored and toiled as a younger
man. The millions of dollars which the poultry business has brought to Utah, the returns from the
dairy business and from the sugar business have contributed financially to the prosperity of the
community in a remarkable degree. Again he was vindicated. His record in fostering home
industry was not matched by any other leader of his time. Behind all of this there was no selfish
motive. The people, their interests, their well-being were the ends he sought in all of his
endeavors. He may have made some mistakes in judgment, but there can be no criticism of his
motives. He loved the land and the people that lived upon it.
He said, "Let us keep our own lands, which are really gold mines. The trouble with us is that we
do not know their value. We do not know how much they will produce. We have not learned that
by intense cultivation, by raising fruit and by being careful to see that we get rid of the worms and
do our full duty by the soil, we can make it worth three and four times its present value." 9
He often said, "I want to assure you that the best place in the world to rear Latter-day Saints is on
the soil." 10
"So far as farming is concerned I want to tell you that it is the splendid blood from the farms that
keeps the cities from dying with their immoral weight. Fifty-two per cent of all the missionaries
that have been sent out into the world by our Church as high as 2200 at a time at their own
expense, or their families, come from the farms. * * *
"Please, every Latter-day Saint farmer, farm your land. If you do not, you will lose your
inheritance. Someone else will get possession of it sooner or later.
Do not buy anything which you are capable of producing yourself." 1 1
In the light of present conditions how sound that advice is. What a sense of security comes to the
man who owns his farm and cultivates it. There is great satisfaction in farming when one does it
intelligently and well. Land that people once regarded as valueless has come to have high value,
and all who listened to the advice of the leaders of this people with respect to their land are
Land values in the intermountain west have gone to heights never dreamed of. One is now willing
to pay more for a small city lot than he could have sold forty acres of land for a few years ago. It
looks as if land will never be cheap again in Salt Lake Valley. All that Heber J. Grant had to say
about land and its value has been completely verified. Those who listened to him will bless his
memory forever. He was inspired of the Almighty.
Financial Support of The Church
There is not a man living or dead who was more honest with the Lord, who was more
conscientious in the payment of his tithes, who was more generous in his financial support of the
Church than was Heber J. Grant. There were two reasons for this. First, he regarded tithing as the
law of the Lord and had faith that if he observed this law he would receive the blessings promised
to those who do so, and second, his loyalty to the Church led him to support it financially and
every other way. He never made a dollar on which he did not pay tithing.
He used to tell how a president of a stake tried to persuade him not to pay tithing until he got out
of debt, but to pay his debts first. He remarked, "Would not that have been a fine record for a man
who now stands as President of the Church not to have paid tithing for thirty-two years?" At one
time some of his friends pleaded with him to take bankruptcy, saying that he would never live
long enough to pay his debts. Referring to that, he said, "If any man living is entitled to say 'keep
out of debt,' that man's name is Heber J. Grant. Thank the Lord that I was able to pay all my debts
without asking a dollar's discount from anyone."
He firmly believed that he never would have been able to do this had he not been absolutely
honest with the Lord. Speaking before the general conference of April 1898 he said, "Men will
say I owe my neighbor, and must pay him before I settle my tithing. Well, I know I owe many of
my neighbors, and they try to collect from me, but I owe God an honest tithing. He has given me
a testimony of Jesus and a hope of eternal life, and I intend to pay him first and my neighbors
afterwards. It is our duty to settle with the Lord first, and I intend to do it with the help of my
Heavenly Father. I want to say to you if you will be honest with the Lord in paying your tithing
and keeping his commandments, he will not only bless you with the light of his holy spirit, but he
will also bless you in dollars and cents. You will be able to pay your debts, and the Lord will pour
out blessings upon you in great abundance."
The President was fond of telling the story of a Primary teacher who brought ten beautiful apples
to her class explaining that everything we have in the world comes from the Lord, and she said, "
'Children, if I give one of you these ten apples, will you give me back one? You who will, hold up
your hand.' They all raised their hands. Then she said, 'That is what the Lord does for us, he gives
us ten apples, but he requests that we return one to him to show our appreciation for that gift.
The President added this, "The greatest trouble with the majority of people is that when they get
ten apples they eat nine of them and then cut the other apple in two, and give the Lord half of
what is left. Some of them cut the apple in two and eat up one half of it and then hold up the other
half and ask the Lord to take a bite." 13
Answering the argument, "I don't pay my tithing because I don't think it is expended right," he
said, "Well, you know if someone else steals a calf, the Lord will never charge it up to your
account. If the authorities of the ward or stake do not make proper use of the tithing, you will
never have to account for it. But if you keep that which belongs to the Lord, you rob him. You
may read in one of the ancient prophets that is what the Lord says in plain English."
He used to tell about one of his personal acquaintances who was a conscientious tithepayer to
begin with. While his income was small, he paid one-tenth. When it reached $6,000, he paid $600
tithing, but when he made $10,000 or $20,000 a year, it never went an inch above $600. At that
point, like grandfather's clock, It stopped short, never to go again/ "14
— Many times President Grant said: "I know in my heart that we grow financially, spiritually, and
in every way as Latter-day Saints by doing our duty."
SPEAKER AND WRITER
HEBER J. GRANT did much public speaking in his day. He was probably more effective as a
speaker than he was as a writer because of his impressive personality, his matchless voice, and
because he did much speaking and little writing for publication.
Many people received personal letters which they highly treasure, written in the President's
beautiful handwriting and in his warm friendly spirit. Almost up to the day of his death he carried
on a large correspondence. It was his custom to use a dictaphone, and if he should awaken during
the night or early in the morning, he would sit up in bed and dictate enough letters to keep a
stenographer busy all day. Only on rare occasions, however, did he commit to writing articles or
addresses. He was too busy with the affairs of the day to do much writing, even had he been
disposed to do so.
No one ever slept through his sermons who came to listen to him speak. He had a clear, resonant
voice that penetrated the remotest parts of the great Tabernacle before the days of amplifiers. His
style was direct, concrete, and vigorous, with a wealth of illustrations. One always understood
what he said. There was nothing obscure or ponderous about it. His discourses, in the main, were
not expositions of doctrine but rather a call for service in the Church. His appeal was never
lacking in the fervency that comes from a sincere conviction. One always knew that he believed
what he said and that he practiced what he preached.
Mingled with a deep sincerity was a rare sense of humor. He had at his command illustrations,
anecdotes, and examples which he used with telling effect. When he espoused any cause, he gave
it his ardent support, whether it was home industry, prohibition, payment of tithing, or temple
work. Heber J. Grant never did anything half-heartedly.
In his loftiest moods there was a passionate appeal about his speaking. There were times when he
spoke beyond any natural ability with which he was endowed. In those inspired moments his soul
was lighted up by the fire of the Holy Ghost, and his words burned with a flaming zeal for his
cause. He was militant for righteousness, valiant in his testimony for the truth. The thing,
however, that gave force and impact to his utterances, that carried conviction to the hearts of
those who heard him was his life and character — the man behind his words, the demonstration in
his own life of the things he preached. His spoken words, when reduced to cold type, lacked some
of the fervor that they carried when he uttered them. He had a talent for epigrammatic and
pungent expressions. His discourses and addresses abounded widi them. Following are some
examples selected almost at random: "I have given much advice to the Latter-day Saints in my
time, and one of the principal items was never to criticize anyone but ourselves. I believe in fault-
finding for breakfast, dinner, and supper, but only with our dear selves."
"Nothing destroys the individuality of a man or a woman or a child so much as the failure to be
"Hardships develop men, communities, and nations. Success and ease are the forerunners of
decay and failure. * * *
"There is but one person who can curtail an individual's usefulness and tiiat is himself." 2
"I have found nothing in the battle of life that has been of more value to me than to perform the
duties of today to the best of my ability." 3
"We are the architects and builders of our lives, and if we fail to put our knowledge into actual
practice and do the duties that devolve upon us, we are making a failure of life." (April 1939.)
"Never forget that the true way to be happy is to do something to add to others' happiness. Try to
forget yourself, and joy here and hereafter will come to you."
"No nation can, as a nation, turn against the plan of life and salvation when it is offered to her
people and continue to be prosperous."
"Let us all do the will of our Father in heaven today, and we shall then be prepared for the duties
of tomorrow and also be prepared for the eternities to come."
"I may not have been a very good preacher of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ from the
standpoint of doctrinal preaching, but I have endeavored to the best of my ability, since I was
called as a boy, forty-two years ago, to preside over the Tooele Stake of Zion and forty years this
coming October to be one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, to preach the doctrine of
James: 1 will show thee my faith by my works/ : (April, 1922 C. R.)
"Let our actions count; that is the thing of real value. The Doctrine and Covenants is full of
splendid things with which we ought to be familiar, but you can read this book through and
through and learn it by heart, and it won't do you a particle of good unless you put into practice
the teachings. To read a book through without carrying out any of the things that are taught in the
book is of no value. It is the things that we read and learn and then put into practice that count." 4
In bearing his testimony he was most powerful and convincing, as witness:
"There is nothing in all the world for which I am so grateful as an absolute knowledge that we,
the Latter-day Saints, have the true gospel of Jesus Christ." (1940)
"The most glorious thing that ever happened in the history of the world since the Savior himself,
is that God himself saw fit to visit the earth with his Beloved Son, our Redeemer and Savior, and
to appear to the boy Joseph. It is the most wonderful and marvelous thing that ever happened, and
no wonder that a good many people of the world cannot and do not believe it, but there are
thousands, including those who have gone before, who have had a perfect individual testimony
and knowledge that this vision was given to the boy Joseph Smith." 5
"The Church is ... a marvelous work and a wonder. There is nothing like it in all the world
because Jesus Christ manifested himself to the prophet and Oliver Cowdery and to others and
because God in answer to prayers has given to people all over the wide world where the gospel
has gone, an individual knowledge and testimony regarding the divinity of the work in which we
are engaged." (October 1924 C. R.)
"God lives; Jesus is the Christ; Joseph Smith is a prophet of the Living God; we have the truth;
and may those who know it, so live that those who know it not may investigate the plan of life
and salvation and obtain eternal life, the greatest of all gifts of God to man." 6
"Here is the keynote, Latter-day Saints. Let us realize that God is mightier than all the earth. Let
us realize that if we are faithful in keeping the commandments of God his promises will be
fulfilled to the very letter. For he has said that not one jot or tittle shall fall to the ground
unfulfilled. The trouble is, the adversary of men's souls blinds their minds. He throws dust, so to
speak, in their eyes, and they are blinded with the things of this world. Men do not lay up
treasures in heaven, where moth and rust corrupt not, where thieves do not break through and
steal, but they set their hearts upon the things of this world, and the adversary obtains power over
"I say to you, Latter-day Saints, that the pearl of great price is life eternal. God has told us that die
greatest of all the gifts he can bestow upon man is life eternal. We are laboring for diat great gift,
and it will be ours if we keep die commandments of God. But it will not profit us merely to make
professions and to proclaim to die ends of die earth that diis is die gospel, but it will profit us if
we do the will of God." 7 The following is typical of another mood: "I want to say diat I have
never heard and never expect to hear, to die day of my death, my favorite hymn, 'Come, Come,
Ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear, but widi joy wend your way,' but that I think of die deadi and
burial of my little baby sister and the wolves digging up her body on the plains. I think of die
death of my father's first wife, and of others that I know of who laid down their lives. I diink of
diat wonderful journey of Brigham Young and his band of pioneers, diose who followed him, and
my heart goes out in gratitude beyond all die power with which God has given me to express it,
that my fadier and my mother were among those who were true to God, and who made diose
sacrifices for die conviction of their hearts because of the knowledge diat they had that God lives,
that Jesus is the Christ, and diat Joseph Smith is his prophet." 8
The President made a strong appeal to young people because his life was a demonstration of the
things he preached. The following admonition to youdi is a good example of his style:
' 'Dream, O youdi; dream nobly and manfully, and your dreams shall be your prophets." ;
"Conference Report, April 1900, p. 24. 8 Ibid., 1922, p. 31.
"If you have ambitions, dream of what you wish to accomplish and then put your shoulder to the
wheel and work. Daydreams without work do not amount to anything; it is the actual work that
counts. Faith without works is dead, so James tells us, as the body without the spirit is dead.
There are any number of people who have faith, but they lack the works, and I believe in the
people that have both faith and the works and are determined to do things.
"Unto those of you who have worthy determinations, the Lord will open the way before you
whereby you can accomplish the labor. There is no passage in all the Book of Mormon that has
made such a profound impression upon my very heart, soul, and being, as the statement of Nephi
when he went up to Jerusalem with his brothers to secure the brass plates from Laban. When they
made a failure and the brothers of Nephi wanted to go back to their father's tent in the wilderness,
they had not accomplished the thing which the Lord required of diem. And he announced to them
that he knew the Lord made no requirements of men but that he prepared the way whereby the
thing that was required might be accomplished. I am not quoting the exact language but the exact
idea. I read the Book of Mormon as a young man and fell in love with Nephi more than any other
character in profane or sacred history that I have ever read of, except the Savior of the world. No
other individual has made such a strong impression upon me as did Nephi. He has been one of the
guiding stars of my life/' 9
In 1897 Heber J. Grant wrote this definition of success: "Not he who merely succeeds in making
a fortune, and in so doing blunts the natural affections of the heart and chases therefrom the love
of his fellows, can be said to be truly successful, but he who lives that those who know him best
shall love him most; and that God, who knows not only his deeds, but also the inmost sentiments
of his heart, shall love him; of such a one, only — notwithstanding he may die in poverty, can it be
said indeed, and of truth, he should be crowned with a wealth of success." 10
"I assert with confidence that the law of success here and hereafter is to have a humble and
prayerful heart and to work, work, work." 11
He said on another occasion:
"I do not believe that any man lives up to his ideal, but if we are striving to the best of our ability
to improve day by day, then we are in line of duty. If we are seeking to remedy our own defects,
if we are so living that we can ask God for knowledge and for intelligence, and above all for his
spirit, then we may overcome our weaknesses. Then, I tell you, we are in the straight and narrow
path of life eternal. Then we need have no fear. I am not afraid of any individual ever injuring me,
but I am afraid that, perchance, I may fail to be as faithful and diligent as I ought to be, and I am
afraid that I may fail to use all the talents God has given me in the way that I ought to use them."
He maintained that happiness is dependent upon service.
"The real secret of happiness in life and the way in which to prepare ourselves for the hereafter is
service, and it is because we give service more than other people in the world, that we are happy.
I am converted to the thought that the way to peace and happiness in life is by giving service.
Service is the true key, I believe, to happiness because when we perform labors like missionary
work, all the rest of our lives we can look back upon our accomplishments in the mission field.
When we perform any acts of kindness, they give a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure to our
hearts, while ordinary amusements pass away. I can't look back with any particular satisfaction
upon having spent an evening just for the privilege of laughing long and loud. I realize that it
requires a constant effort on the part of each and every one of us to make a success of our lives. It
requires no effort at all to roll down the hill, but it does require an effort to climb the hill to the
summit. It needs no effort to walk in the broad way that leads to destruction; but it needs an effort
to keep in the straight and narrow path that leads to life eternal, and we are told that but few there
are who find this path. The all-important thing for you and me is to discover whether we are
walking in the straight and narrow path that leads to life eternal, and if we are not, wherein have
we allowed the adversary to blind our minds and to cause us to depart from that path which will
lead us back into the presence of God." 13
The dramatic story of the conversion of his brother, "B. F." which meant so much to the President
is impressively told in his own words: "The Book of Mormon has a very warm place in my heart
because of one of its chapters. I had a wayward brother who took no interest whatever in the
Church until he was between thirty-five and forty years of age. I received a letter from him telling
me that on account of the failure of our placer mines in Oregon, where he had invested large sums
of money — all that we had and all that we could borrow — that he had been tempted, because he
had financially ruined me, to kill himself.
"He went out into the woods, intending to kill himself; but he got to thinking what a cowardly,
dastardly act it would be for him to leave his wife and children destitute. So, instead of killing
himself, he knelt down and prayed: 'O God, if there is a God.'
"He got up, weeping for joy, and he wrote me that he had become convinced of two tilings; that
there is a God, and diat there is a devil, one leading to life and the other to death. He sealed his
letter and then the influence came over him: 'You have now ruined your brother, and now you are
trying to make amends by telling him that you have commenced to pray.'
"He threw the letter into his trunk. He wrote me letters every day for about a week, all landing in
his trunk, but finally he mailed one.
"He struggled with the influence: 'Your brother, when he gets that letter, will write and tell you to
be baptized, and if you do so, you will be a hypocrite.
"After lying awake all one night, he went at five o'clock in the morning and got the letter. But he
finally sent me another. When I got it, instead of writing him as the adversary impressed him that
I would, I wrote him: 'Some day you will know the gospel is true. Don't think I want you to be
baptized, if you feel that you would be a hypocrite/
"I went out and bought him a Book of Mormon, went into my office, shut the door, and told the
Lord I wanted to open the book to the chapter that would do a wayward and careless brother of
mine the most good; and this is the chapter to which I opened [the thirty-sixth chapter of Alma].
Anyone who knows the contents of the book will admit that he cannot find another chapter
comparable with the thirty-sixth chapter of Alma, nor more appropriate for sending to a wayward
(President Grant here read the following paragraphs from that chapter.)
My son, give ear to my words; for I swear unto you, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the
commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land.
And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that
thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in
God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted
up at the last day. (1-3.)
He then said: "Let me say in passing that Alma knew, no better than I know, that those who put
their trust in God shall be supported in all manner of afflictions and trials, because I have passed
dirough trials and tribulations and have been supported by him. I was able to sit by the deathbed
of my last living son, for whom I had great expectations, and see him die without my shedding a
tear; and there was a most peaceful feeling in my heart when he passed away. So I know, as Alma
of old knew, that those who trust in God shall be supported in their tribulation." Then he read the
remainder of the chapter, emphasizing this paragraph:
But behold, my son, this is not all; for ye ought to know as I do know, that inasmuch as ye shall
keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land; and ye ought to know also, that
inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God ye shall be cut off from his presence.
Now this is according to his word. (30.)
"I love that chapter. Why? Because, when that wayward brother of mine read it, he wrote: 'Heber,
I do not know the gospel is true, but I pledge the Lord, if he ever gives me, as he gave Alma of
old, a knowledge of the divinity of the gospel, that I will labor as Alma of old labored, to bring
souls to a knowledge of the truth/ And, thank the Lord, he obtained that knowledge, and thank the
Lord also, he has kept his pledge.
"I know no man among all my acquaintances who has done a tithe of the reclamation work that
he has done, and who has become more devoted, and who is doing more to reclaim the wayward
and bring them to the knowledge of the gospel and right living. In a single winter he induced over
six hundred careless boys to join the Mutual Improvement Association. He accomplished this by
laboring, often until midnight; and not only until midnight, but occasionally until one or two
o'clock in the morning." 14
One of the events leading to "B. F.'s" baptism was listening to a discourse delivered by his
brother, Heber, in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. In the October conference, 1922, President Grant
gave this graphic account of the circumstances:
"I remember what to me was the greatest of all the great incidents in my life, in this Tabernacle. I
saw for the first time, in the audience, my brother who had been careless, indifferent, and
wayward; who had evinced no interest in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"As I saw him for the first time in this building, and as I realized that he was seeking God for
light and knowledge regarding the divinity of this work, I bowed my head, and I prayed God that
if I were requested to address the audience that the Lord would inspire me by the revelations of
his Spirit, by that Holy Spirit in whom every true Latter-day Saint believes, that my brother
would have to acknowledge to me that I had spoken beyond my natural ability, that I had been
inspired of the Lord.
"I realize that if he made that confession, then I should be able to point out to him that God has
given him a testimony of the divinity of this work.
"Brother Milton Bennion was sitting on the stand that day, and he had been asked to address the
congregation. President Angus M. Cannon came to me and said, 'Before you entered the building,
Brother Grant, I had invited Milton Bennion to speak, but he can come some other day/
"I said, 'Let him speak/
"Brother Cannon said, "Well, I will ask him to speak briefly, and you will please follow him.'
"Brother Bennion told of his visit around the world; among other things, of visiting the sepulchre
"I took out of my pocket a book that I always carried, called a Ready Reference, and I laid it
down on the stand in front of me when I stood up to speak. It was opened at the passages that tell
of the vicarious work for the dead, of the announcement that Jesus went and preached to the
spirits in prison, and proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ to them. I intended to read about the
baptism for the dead, and I intended to preach upon the fact that the Savior of the world had not
only brought the gospel to every soul upon the earth, but that it also reached back to all those who
had died without a knowledge of it, or in their sins, that they would have the privilege of hearing
it; that, as I understood and had read in the Doctrine and Covenants, Jesus came into the world to
be crucified for the world and to die for the sins of the world and that he saved all except only
those who denied the Son after the Father had revealed him — those who had lived and those who
"I remember standing there feeling that this was perhaps the greatest of all the great themes that
we as Latter-day Saints had to proclaim to the world. I laid the book down, opened at that page. I
prayed for the inspiration of the Lord and the faith of the Latter-day Saints, and I never thought of
the book from that minute until I sat down at the end of a thirty-minute address. I closed my
remarks at twelve minutes after three o'clock, expecting that President George Q. Cannon would
follow me. Brother Angus came to the upper stand and said, 'George, please occupy the balance
of the time.
"He said, 'No, I do not wish to speak/ Brother Angus refused to take 'No' for an answer.
"Brother Cannon said, finally: All right, go take your seat, and I will say something.' and he arose
and said in substance:
" 'There are times when the Lord Almighty inspires some speakers by the revelations of his Spirit,
and he is so abundantly blessed by the inspiration of the Living God that it is a mistake for
anybody else to speak following him, and one of those occasions has been today, and I desire that
this meeting be dismissed without further remarks/ And he sat down.
"I devoted the thirty minutes of my speech almost exclusively to a testimony of my knowledge
that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and to the wonderful and marvelous labors of the Prophet
Joseph Smith bearing witness to the knowledge God had given me that Joseph was in very deed a
prophet of the true and Living God.
"The next morning my brother came into my office and said, 'Heber, I was at a meeting yesterday
and heard you preach/
"I said, 'The first time you ever heard your brother preach, I guess?'
" 'Oh, no,' he said, 'I have heard you many times/
"He said, 'I generally come in late and go into the gallery. I often go out before the meeting is
over. But you have never spoken as you did yesterday. You spoke beyond your natural ability.
You were inspired of the Lord.' The identical words I had uttered the day before, in my prayer to
the Lord !
"When I heard George Q. Cannon after I sat down, and before his brother spoke to him, say to
himself, 'Thank God for the power of that testimony,' and the tears gushed from my eyes like rain,
and I rested my elbows on my knees and put my hands over my face, so that the people by me
would not see that I was weeping like a child. I knew when I heard those words of George Q.
Cannon that God had heard and answered my prayer. I knew that my brother's heart was touched.
The next day when he came and repeated my words, I said to him, Are you still praying for a
testimony of the gospel?'
"He said, Yes, and I am going nearly wild.' "I asked, 'What did I preach about yesterday?' "He
replied, You know what you preached about.' "I said, Well, you tell me.'
'"You preached upon the divine mission of the prophet Joseph Smith.'
"I answered, And I was inspired beyond my natural ability; and I never spoke before — at any
time you have heard me, as I spoke yesterday. Do you expect the Lord to get a club and knock
you down? What more testimony do you want of the gospel of Jesus Christ than that a man
speaks beyond his natural ability and under the inspiration of God, when he testifies of the divine
mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith?'
"The next Sabbath he applied to me for baptism." 15
"B. F." became a marvelous missionary. His words were permeated with a conviction that pierced
the hearts of those who listened to him. If there were a spark of love for the truth in a wayward
soul, he could fan it into a flame.
This excerpt from one of his sermons is typical of his convincing power as a speaker.
THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION
Every moment I was tempted to do wrong, a message would come from an unseen world saying:
"Don't do it, don't do it; it is wrong; you know it is wrong." That voice would plead with me like a
mother would plead with a wayward son.
Then the adversary of men's souls would say: "It is only a little thing. Others do it. It won't hurt
It is at this moment that a man's agency comes in. Father, mother, sister, friend, no human being
can do for you what you can do for yourself in that hour of temptation. You must decide the issue
then — you alone. Right there is fought the greatest battle that men ever fight in this mortal world.
President Grant related this incident:
"The bishop of Paragonah wrote to "B. F.," having known him at Milford when he used to
profane, when he ran a saloon, asking him to please come down and preach at Paragonah. My
brother went down, and he said to the bishop: 'I want you to send out to his ranch for McBride.'
"The bishop said: 1 won't do it. I would not have him in my meetinghouse, he would only come
here, mingle with the boys on the outside before the meeting, wait until we had the first song, the
prayer, and the second song and then he would come into the meeting, and the first thing he
would be liable to do would be to call you a thief, a liar, or something of that kind.
"My brother said: 'I want him here, I know him, and I know him well, and I would like to have
"The bishop said: 'You don't know him as well as I do; he is my son-in-law. We have tried to get
my poor daughter to leave him, but she will not do it. When he is not drunk, he is very kind to
her. I do not propose to have that kind of man around here/
"Fred said: 'If you will not send for him, I will. I have come two hundred miles to preach at your
request, and I will hire a boy and put him on a horse and send for him myself/
"The bishop said: If you feel that way about it, I will send for him/
"Fred said: I want him here. All I ask is that you save a seat for him on the front row/
"He said McBride came, mingled with the boys on the outside, waited until they had had the two
songs and prayer, then came in saying: 'Well, you damned old thief, you've turned preacher, have
"Fred said: 'Yes, I have/
"He said: 'Do you remember how when a man who had a very fast horse came to Milford, and
you hired him to let a poor horse beat him, and how he cleaned up the people in the whole town?'
"Fred said: 'Yes, I remember many devilish and mean things you and I did together. I was just
confessing my sins, but if you like to do it for me, it will save me the trouble. Only one can
preach at a time/
"McBride said: 'I haven't anything else I want to say/
"Fred said: 'Come up here and take a seat; I have saved a seat for you'
"After the services he asked Fred to go home with him, and he went out to his ranch and slept
with him, or more properly speaking, he stayed awake with him all night long, and die next day
he drove him over to Milford to get the train.
"When he was leaving, Fred said to the bishop of Paragonah, 'Bishop, when your son-in-law
applies for baptism, will you please write me?'
"He said: Yes, I will send you a special delivery letter.' And he laughed at the idea.
"Some months later my brother handed me a letter from the bishop which read, 'Brother Grant,
my wife, myself, and my daughter have not the language really to express our gratitude to you for
what you did for our son-in-law when you spent the night with him. He has been a model
husband, and we have no language to express our gratitude to you for the reformation you
brought about in him.' This is only one case out of many where "B. F." brought wayward
indifferent men to active service in the Church.
This is the closing paragraph of President Grant's speech in the Tabernacle, January 1896, at
which his brother "B. F." was present.
"I want to say to the Latter-day Saints that it behooves us, having received a testimony of the
divinity of the work in which we are engaged, to so order our lives from day to day that glory
shall be brought to the work of God by the good deeds that we perform, so letting our light shine
that men, seeing our good deeds, shall glorify God. No people upon the face of the earth have
ever been blessed as have been the Latter-day Saints; no people have ever had the many
manifestations of the kindness and mercy and long-suffering of God as have been bestowed upon
us, and I say we, above all men and women upon the earth should live Godlike and upright lives.
That God may help us to do so is my prayer and desire, and I ask it in the name of Jesus, Amen."
HEBER J. GRANT traveled over a large part of the world. According to his own words he had
borne his testimony in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland,
Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Canada, Mexico, and in most of
the states in the American Union, in far-off Japan, and in the Hawaiian Islands. Wherever stakes
of Zion were established, he visited them; attended conferences; dedicated temples, chapels,
schoolhouses, seminary buildings, and spoke in Church schools. In addition to all of this he was
guest speaker before many important civic and religious gatherings, notably before the
Chemurgic Congress which was held in Detroit, Michigan; the Knife and Fork Club in Kansas
City, Missouri, and the Institute of Human Relations in Estes Park, Colorado.
He seemed equal to any occasion. He understood the language of businessmen and their manner
of thinking, and they were delighted to hear a Church dignitary who could talk to them on their
level. If it were a National Scout Jamboree or a nation-wide gathering of bankers or a congress of
religious leaders, he was at home with them. He was always interesting; he always contributed to
the occasion and won the friendship of his listeners. Everywhere he went, he was recognized as
the champion of his faith and the spokesman of his people.
Referring to his visit to Kansas City, he said: "It would be of interest for you to know that some
years ago I played a game of golf in Kansas City widi a son of former Governor Crittenden. He
handed me a pamphlet in which appeared the pictures of the founder of Kansas City Star, his
wife, and the Presiding Bishop of the Mormon Church. Mr. Crittenden checked off a description
of some of the property in that vicinity and jokingly remarked, 'Mr. Grant, you are playing on
your own links, as the title stands in the name of the Presiding Bishop of the Mormon Church.'
Subsequently I was asked to speak before the Chamber of Commerce in Kansas City, and I
remarked that I owned, as President of the Church, nearly one-half of Kansas City, but I could not
get possession of it because the law of adverse possession for a certain number of years gives one
a title. Nearly all of the abstracts of titles of land in the eastern part of Kansas City show the title
of the land to be in the name of Edward Partridge, the Presiding Bishop of the Mormon Church."
In December 1920 President Grant was invited to speak before the Knife and Fork Club of
Kansas City, Missouri. Referring to this in a general conference of the Church, he said:
"I think that we as a people have very great cause to rejoice in the era of goodwill and fellowship
that is existing today for us as a people, among those not of our faith, in comparison with the
conditions that existed some years ago. I do not know of any single tiling that has happened in my
experience, during the long time that I have been one of the General Authorities of the Church,
that has impressed me more profoundly with the change of sentiment towards the Latter-day
Saints than the reception which was accorded to me December last when I went to Kansas City
and delivered a speech upon 'The Accomplishments of Mormonism.' When I reflect upon the fact
that in die leading hotel in that wonderful and progressive city — I was permitted to stand up
within ten miles of Independence, the place from which the Latter-day Saints were expelled, by
an exterminating order of the governor of the state, Governor Boggs, and to proclaim the
accomplishments of the Latter-day Saints, to relate the prophecies of Joseph Smith, to give to
those men that were assembled, over three hundred of the leading, influential businessmen of the
city, the testimony of Josiah Quincy regarding the Prophet Joseph Smith; to repeat to them the
great pioneer hymn, 'Come, Come, Ye Saints'; to relate the hardships, the drivings, and the
persecutions of the Latter-day Saints and to have that body of representative men receive that
address with approval, applaud it in many places, and to have many of them come to me after the
meeting and shake hands and congratulate me upon the address, and to have some of the
members of the board of directors of that great club, the Knife and Fork Club of Kansas City
(which I have been informed is the second greatest dinner club in the United States, the Gridiron
of Washington standing first), to have them say that they hoped for a return date so that they
could hear more of our people, and then stop to reflect upon the fact that the Prophet and his
followers, in the early days, were expelled from Missouri; that many of them were murdered; that
all kinds of crimes were committed upon the people; that their property was confiscated; that we
have never received anything for our property that belonged to us in that section; that today some
of the valuable country that we traveled over there is the very property that our people owned (for
when you follow up many abstracts of valuable property you will find the title centers in the
bishop of the Mormon Church, and only because of lapse of time have people secured a proper
title to these lands, and not because it was ever paid for). I say to stop and reflect that the drivings
and the persecutions of the Latter-day Saints, of which no tongue can tell and no pen can paint the
conditions; and then to realize that there is a feeling in that community now, among the people
residing in the very place, from which President Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Living God,
and others were driven out, to be invited to go there and be asked to talk of the accomplishments
of Mormonism and to have that talk received, with open arms, shows the most wonderful change
of sentiment." 2
This great leader's attitude and personality were tremendous factors in that change of sentiment.
One of the extraordinary and impressive occasions in speaking before audiences not of his faith
occurred in Detroit, Michigan. Stringam A. Stevens, who was present, referring to it, said:
"No representative of the Church was ever accorded a greater ovation by an audience of non-
members than that which was given to President Heber J. Grant following his address to more
dian 1200 of the country's leading scientists, industrial executives, and agriculture leaders at the
Book-Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, Thursday evening, May 12, 1936. This occasion was the second
Dearborn Conference of Agriculture. * * *" 3
These 1200 delegates were made up of the most distinguished scientists, industrialists, and
agriculturists of America. President Grant was invited to speak on "Domestic Sugar Supply/' a
subject about which few men in America were so well-informed as was he. These thoughtful,
earnest, eminent men came from all corners of the nation for a serious purpose — to help establish
a rational order for the economic independence of America.
The Detroit News of May 12, 1936, commented as follows:
"Scientists Hear Prophet. Mormon leader here on their invitation. As men who believe they hold
the key to the future of science, industry, and agriculture, gathered in high council here today,
there came among them a prophet of another kind, one whom more than eight hundred thousand
people look upon as privileged to hear the voice of the Almighty/'
The Detroit Evening Times, May 13, 1936, said:
"The oldest delegate to the Second Dearborn conference of agriculturists, industrialists, and
scientists, is also its most entertaining speaker. ° He is Heber J.
Grant, seventy-nine-year-old President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
commonly called the Mormon Church. He comes from Salt Lake City, Utah. * * * In a booming
bass voice, standing straight as a ramrod, the bewhiskered old man dien launched into a
humorous semi-political speech which brought nearly one thousand people to their feet, cheering
and whistling in the grand ballroom of the Book-Cadillac Hotel last night."
There were three notable incidents in this conference in which the President was conspicuous. At
the pre -convention luncheon held in the Inn, the President and Henry Ford were given the first
table. They began a conversation that continued throughout the luncheon period. Their picture
was taken and widely publicized. These distinguished men were about the same age, and both
were men of vision and high purpose. They talked together for more than an hour. The President's
first speech was a hit. He was the last speaker of the evening. It seemed a dull and unpropitious
hour, the atmosphere of the ballroom where the program was held was dense with tobacco smoke.
The guests were drowsy and apathetic. It was a trying situation under which to speak. When the
President was announced, the applause was feeble. He had to walk some distance to the speaker's
platform. He looked worried, but from the moment he began to speak that vast audience
recognized at once a new voice, a new message. They tried to interrupt him with their applause,
but he went straight along to the end. When he finished, they arose en masse and almost shook
the rafters with their demonstration.
One man in the audience said to his neighbor, "I have traveled five hundred miles to get here, and
I would not have missed that speech for $500."
President Grant did not speak as a scientist, nor as an industrialist, nor as an agriculturist. He told
who his people are and what they have done and why they were able to do it. He quoted from the
Doctrine and Covenants, "We believe that governments are instituted of God for the benefit of
man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws
and administering them, for the good and safety of society.
"We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed, and held
inviolate, as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of
property, and the protection of life/' 4
They liked that and showed that they did. The President said, "In my opinion Brigham Young
was the greatest colonizer and pioneer that America has ever produced. He always gave full credit
for his accomplishments, however, to the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, Joseph Smith, Jr."
The President concluded with reference to the welfare program of the Church. As the last words
were spoken, that assembly of great men, as if moved by a single impulse, arose to their feet and
applauded long and enthusiastically. Scores of people crowded around the President to shake his
hand. Throughout the audience could be heard such statements as, "That was worth coming from
New York to hear," and "I'd go a thousand miles any day to hear that man talk."
From the time he made his first address until he left Detroit, he was the most outstanding and the
most talked about personality of that remarkable conference.
On the second evening of the convention a great banquet was held in the Hotel Statler and a
formal program planned, including music by the Chrysler-Plymouth male quartet and talks by
two distinguished men. Mr. Gavin, a witty Irishman, was toastmaster. Shortly before the program
began, without warning or previous notice, he leaned over and asked President Grant, who was
sitting next to him in the place of honor, if he would respond with a few remarks. The President
agreed, and Mr. Gavin later arose to introduce him with the explanation that many had not heard
one of the convention's distinguished guests on the previous evening, and many who had had
requested that he be presented again. This announcement was received with great demonstration,
the audience arising and applauding vigorously. The President spoke for about ten minutes,
beginning with some of his best stories, then he changed the mood to one of solemn
thoughtfulness by telling of the monument that was being erected at Florence, Nebraska, in
memory of the people who suffered persecution for their honest belief. He told of the exodus
from Nauvoo and the bitter night when nine babies were born on the river ice, and when many
Saints perished cruelly. Tense feeling hushed the guests as they listened to the dramatic story.
While in Detroit President Grant and his guests were entertained by Henry Ford at the Dearborn
Inn; a Lincoln car and a chauffeur were always at the President's door. He was there for three
days, and the chauffeur became attached to the President. He said, "I would like to go with him;
he is such a wonderful man. "
A letter written to President Grant under date of May 27, 1946, from Mr. Carl B. Fritche,
managing director of the Chemurgic Council, contained the following paragraph:
"I am delighted that you had such a splendid time at the Dearborn Conference. Everyone agrees
that you stole the show and added a fine flavor to it, which a meeting of that sort always needs."
At Estes Park, August 10, 1936, Dr. Frank King-dom, president of New York University,
introduced President Grant saying, "I, representing the majority groups in America, feel bad that a
minority group of this kind should have been ignored, and it is in that spirit and with a deep
appreciation of the fine leadership that President Grant has given to his own people that I am now
presenting him to you this morning to tell you, from his own point of view, what this movement
has experienced, what it means to the great section of the country in which it is so influential."
The written invitation to the President to speak before the institute said, "We should like you to
tell the history and experiences of the early followers of Mor-monism as they came from the East
to the West. We hope you will include some of your personal reminiscences." This made a great
appeal to the President as it was the major theme of his life, the one thing above all others about
which he preferred to speak. He knew the persecutions and hardships of his people as no other
person then living did. He had learned of them from the lips of those who had gone through it all,
many of whom had died without recording their experiences.
For an horn* and five minutes he told those people gathered at Estes Park the tragic and dramatic
story of his own people, commencing with the organization of the Church in 1830.
With the following fearless and fervent testimony he concluded:
"I know that God lives. I have approached him in prayer time and time again, and my prayers
have been answered beyond any question of a doubt. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,
the Redeemer of the world; that he came to the earth with a divinely appointed mission to die. As
in Adam all died so in Christ shall they be made alive.' I know as I know that I live that Joseph
Smith was a Prophet of the true and Living God, and that his declaration that we should be driven
from city to city, from county to county, state to state, and finally beyond the United States of
America, to the Rocky Mountains, has been literally fulfilled."
In the President's relationship with the great men of the world he could be described by two lines
from Kipling's poem "If."
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue Or walk with kings — nor lose the common
Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow men.
— Mahatma Gandhi
Giving, whether it be of time, labor, affection, advice, gifts or whatever, is one of life's greatest
— Rebecca Russell
If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.
The dead carry with them to the grave only what they have given away.
PHILANTHROPY is good will toward men in action. It is doing something to promote the
welfare of others without diought of reward or hope of compensation. In its noblest implications
no other word in the English language is so descriptive of the character of this leader.
Heber J. Grant never did a sordid thing in his life. If a record were written of what he did for
others, of what he gave to individuals and institutions, of the help rendered to those who were in
need of help, of the ways he opened for young people to realize their ambitions, of the confidence
and hope which he inspired in the hearts of the disconsolate, what a brilliant and revealing
chapter it would be ! Where is his equal in this respect?
There was a generosity about this great man of which most people knew nothing. Those of casual
acquaintance and the public generally thought of Heber J. Grant as an aggressive, militant man,
rigidly subscribing to the letter of the law, and sternly admonishing others if they failed to do
likewise, a man with little sympathy for those who deviated from the upright. But the depths of
his affections, the magnanimity of his soul, his profound sympathy for the poor and the
unfortunate expressed themselves in a service unmatched for generosity.
The welfare of widows was always the object of his solicitude. Clearing their homes of
mortgages, getting their children jobs, seeing that those who were sick had the proper medical
attention, and helping them to finance themselves, were always his concern.
Nor was this philanthropy limited to widows or to his relatives or to his friends; it was extended
to scores of people, many of whom he did not know. Joseph Anderson, the President's secretary,
"President Grant was the most liberal and generous man with his personal means that I have ever
known; in fact, I doubt if any have excelled him in this respect. He trusted me with his personal
means, and with a record of his income and expenditures. He was a man who thoroughly enjoyed
making money, but not for the purpose of accumulating it. His only desire was to have money
that he might do good with it. On various occasions he would come to me and ask how much
money was in his bank account. Knowing the purpose for which he wished this money, I
hesitated at times to give it to him without reminding him of certain expenditures he would have
to meet in the near future. Invariably he would ask me to draw a check for the amount he desired,
perhaps for $1,000 or $1,500, telling me to make the check in favor of some widow whose name
he would give explaining that he wished to pay off the mortgage on her home.
"I recall on one occasion before the Salt Lake Theatre was torn down, and at a time when the
theatre was not making money, President Grant bought some theatre stock from the daughters of
one of his deceased friends, giving them for the stock far more than the market price. A few years
later when the theatre was sold, the returns to the stockholders was in excess of the amount that
he had to pay these women for then-stock. He gave them his check to make up the difference in
the price even though the transaction making the purchase had been consummated several years
"He was always scrupulously careful to see that no funds belonging to the Church were used for
any other purpose than legitimate Church business."
His daughter Lucy said: "Father believed in missionary work and set aside thousands of dollars to
be used for the purpose of sustaining missionaries. (He had no sons to send on missions.) His own
kin were numbered among them, grandsons, nephews, and distant relatives, all came in for their
share of help.
"He was devoted to temple work. Hundreds of dollars were spent monthly to pay people for
taking names from his records. Research workers were hired and thousands of names were added
to his records, and a great many people worked for him at different times for several years. He
had a session at the temple which he attended once a week, and many of his family would go
there. I recall one night when we did sealings for 1300.
"A man who had served on a mission with him died leaving a family of five children; the baby
was but four months old. Father took this woman into his office where she worked for fifteen
years at the same time caring for her children, working in Church capacities, and educating her
children. He took a fatherly interest in this family assisting them all he could.
"Father had a cousin, who became a helpless invalid in her girlhood, and for the duration of most
of her life he helped to maintain her and pay for many operations which she underwent for an
infection of a bone in her hip.
"He was always interested in people who served him in the home. During his last illness, a
woman who had a large family was doing day work. He learned about the circumstances of the
family. One day on one of his rides into Davis County, he saw a 'For Sale' sign on a piece of land.
He made inquiries about the land, bought it, and presented it to this sister and her husband, and
for several years they farmed it and proudly brought to Father vegetables which they had raised
on the land. Finally they moved to California, selling the land, which helped them finance
"One night I was reading the paper and came to the story of a sister who was a widow who had
two sons on missions; he said that was quite a burden for her, and immediately got in touch with
the family and sent money to help the boys in their missions.
"One of our neighbors lost her husband; Father was among the first to call, and he pressed
$100.00 into her hand. This generous act was repeated scores of times when death entered the
homes of those he knew.
"One of our relatives had lived for many years in a rented home. Father decided she should have a
home of her own. Her children were too young to help much, but he had plans drawn up for a
home. It looked as if his work had been in vain because the woman's husband found it impossible
to assume the expense. Father said she must have the home, so he talked it over and got the
necessary money, and put this relative in her new home.
"For forty-one years it was my privilege to visit the various stakes of Zion. I think I can truthfully
say that seldom did I go to any outlying stake that some one of the congregation did not tell me of
Father's gifts. He helped widows, missionaries, people who had lost their loved ones, those who
had been in accidents, or those whose people had been killed or injured in accident. While I was
in Wyoming, one woman whose husband had been killed in a mine accident came to me and she
told me that Father had written her a personal letter. He sent books to her, and to her children,
about eight in number, and she told how that letter and those books, and his remembrance carried
her through the ordeal which she otherwise could not have endured. * * *
"During those lean years which followed the panic of 1893, when to raise a nickel was harder
than it had been to give $5.00, Father still helped those in distress. He knew the widow's lot; he
had felt die pinch of poverty; he knew the bitterness and bondage of debt. Through all the dark
hours of his life there was a shining and secure faith in God and his promises which sustained
him. I know in those years the horror of financial obligation was borne into the souls of those of
us who were old enough to see him under this great strain which made us feel that debt was like a
huge dragon, into whose ugly mouth the very lifeblood of its victims was drawn. No wonder he
was constantly crying unto the people everywhere to keep out of debt. One whose experiences
have been such as his, knows the exquisite pain of honor when on the verge of being crushed, and
of a good name when near being dragged into the dust."
Here are some additional examples of his generosity: When he presided over the European
Mission, his daughter Lucy was in the habit of writing him a newsletter once a week. In one of
these letters she mentioned that a sister, who helped in the Grant home, had been assessed $50.00
on the new chapel in her ward. This sister had not complained, but Lucy thought it was a high
assessment for a widow with two small children to support. Soon a letter from her Father came to
this widow with a check enclosed. She was to use $25.00 to help on her assessment, and when
she told Lucy about it, tears were in her eyes. She was so grateful for the letter, but the check she
wanted to return. However, she did not return it, but gave it to the ward, making her donation
$75.00 instead of $50.00.
Years later, when Lucy visited this woman, who was then nearly ninety years old and almost
blind, she went to her drawer and brought out this letter, yellow with age, for Lucy to read. As
Lucy read it, the old lady's withered cheeks were moistened with tears of gratitude.
"An artist came to sell him a picture," his daughter related. "Father did not have space on his
walls to hang a picture, but the artist needed the money, so Father told him he had always been
very sorry he let him sell his last picture so cheap, so he gave him an extra $50.00 for the
previous picture and suggested that the artist sell the picture he had to someone else."
She continued: "It was a few days before Christmas, and I was preparing some little gifts for a
needy family. Father walked in, and I showed him the things, telling him about the family, as I
had gathered the story from the mother, and I mentioned that I must get my temple clothes ready
as I was lending them to the woman to use the next morning. The next day when she came to
return my clothing, she told me that when she went to the temple gate, Father was there waiting.
He had never seen her before, only knowing her by my description. He stopped her and handed
her an envelope as he wished the family a happy Christmas. The envelope contained $20.00.
"His power to forgive others was almost Christlike, to return good for evil. You'd hardly suspect
it of him, but it was true. Many times he helped men in distress who had previously criticized him
openly. He was lenient and tolerant toward those who neglected their Church and turned away
from the faith of their fathers. He never seemed to bear malice. He was bitter in his denunciation
of sin, but to the sinner, he was merciful.' ,
A typist who worked in his office for many years, was able to use only one hand. That very
handicap was a factor in his employing her. She had married and was living in a poor and very
inexpensive place. One evening when he was out driving with some of his daughters, they
pointed out the place where she lived. At the following Christmas time he suggested to each of
his children, that rather than write a check to them for his Christmas gift, he would ask them in
turn, to write a check to him, and he was going to add to their checks the equivalent of what he
had usually given them. This amount he was going to pay on this girl's house. On the following
Christmas day the President called at her home and gave them a turkey for their Christmas dinner
and presented them with a check for several hundred dollars to pay on their house."
Lucy related: "The Salt Lake Temple was nearing completion, and as a project for all Sunday
School and Primary children, it was suggested that they forget their Christmas presents and give
the money to the temple. Our family was enthusiastic about the idea, so we immediately told
Father that we wanted the equivalent of our Christmas gifts in money to pay on the temple. Father
gave each of us $100.00, which, of course, was far in excess of the usual Christmas check, and
how proudly little Heber handed his to the bishop! Some years later, just a week or so before his
passing, the bishop was in, and Heber felt under his pillow for his purse and handed the bishop
$8.00 which he had saved to add to other gifts for the temple." 1
Almost the last time the President was able to attend a meeting of the directors of one of the
banks over which he presided, he asked the cashier if there were any widows owing obligations to
the bank which they could not meet. At first the cashier thought not, but finally said, "There is
one woman who is having great difficulty in paying the mortgage on her home, and it looks as if
she might lose it." Then the great-hearted and generous President asked how much the obligation
was. He was informed that the amount was several hundred dollars. He directed the cashier to pay
the mortgage, to cancel it, and send it to the widow and charge it to his account. He did not know
Not long before the President's death, a group of people were raising money for some civic
purpose, and one of the solicitors discovered that Heber J. Grant's name was on his list. He had
never met him, and he had grave reservations about calling on him. However, he called at the
President's home. He was ready to go out for a ride, but he invited the man to sit with him on his
porch for a few minutes. When the solicitor had explained the nature of the visit, the President
said, "Do you have that widow's name on your list?" pointing to the one that lived across the
street; and "Do you have so and so's name on your list?"
In both cases he responded, "Yes."
"Well," he said, "how much are you asking from them?"
He told him, and the President gave him his check including his own contribution and the
contributions of the other people about whom he had inquired.
This solicitor who had met the President for the first time, was so fascinated with what he did and
the way in which he did it that he said, "He won my confidence and my everlasting esteem. You
can't help feeling that he is a wonderful man."
During the depression President Grant went to Chicago and underwent an important surgical
operation. His doctor charged him $2,500 for the operation — a high fee considering the times and
conditions. The President offered no protest but mentioned die fact that his holdings had greatly
depreciated as a result of the depression. The doctor, accordingly reduced his fee $1,000 leaving
an account of $1,500 which was promptly paid, and the matter was satisfactorily closed. In 1936
when financial conditions had improved, the President sent the doctor $ 1 ,000. This was a new
kind of ethics in the surgeon's experience, and it reveals the rare sense of fairness that actuated
the President in all his dealings.
The following story is another illustration of his helpfulness:
A young Swedish girl had been left an orphan when she was very young, and she and her sister
had been reared by dieir grandparents. While she was still a small child, she had an infection in
her eyes which resulted in almost total blindness. Her grandparents were wealthy people and
provided a governess who had read to her and taught her so that she was well-educated. She
became converted to the Latter-day Saint faith, and her grandparents immediately turned against
her. They told her how ungrateful she was and that unless she renounced this "infamous" faith she
would have to leave their home. She had such a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel
that she chose to leave. She had nothing to look forward to except poverty and drudgery, but she
chose this rather than renounce her faith. She felt that the Lord would take care of her.
Soon after she left her home, a returned Swedish missionary who knew her heard of her plight
and sent her the money to emigrate to America, telling her that if she cared to come to Utah, he
would marry her in spite of the ailment in her eyes, and that he would try to make her happy. She
felt that this was a direct answer to her prayers and was thrilled beyond all words. She
immediately made preparations to leave, and when her grandparents found that she was going to
America, they provided her with a lovely trousseau and wished her well, but they told her they
never wanted to hear from her again unless she would leave the Church and come back to them as
a member of their faith.
When she reached New York, she was held for a while by the immigration officers and then
returned to Liverpool. The Mormon elder was disappointed. He again sent money for her
emigration, supplied her with more affidavits as to his willingness to care for her and told her to
try to get through to Boston. Again she was unsuccessful, and again he sent money and told her to
try Canada, but that this was the last time. If she was not successful, he knew that she would not
hold it against him if he put her entirely out of his life and tried to find another wife. She was not
only unsuccessful in landing in Canada but was kept for such a long time at the port of entry that
all of the lovely things her grandparents had given her for her trousseau became moth-eaten and
had to be thrown into the ocean. She had to return again to Liverpool.
When President Grant, then president of the European Mission, heard her story, his heart was
deeply touched. He was reminded of the time when his own mother had been forced by her
grandparents, who had reared her, to choose between them and Mormonism. She, too, had been
turned out of a lovely home. He and Sister Grant talked the matter over and could see no way that
they could help the girl because of her blindness, but they finally decided to let her stay at the
mission home and help with the housework and earn her room and board. She was perfectly
delighted with this suggestion and was most diligent in her duties and was often heard singing as
she cleaned. It wasn't very long until she was given charge of President Grants two young
daughters when he and Sister Grant visited the various missions. She had a wonderful dis-
position, was immaculately clean, and knew how to do all the nice little things that are done in
better homes. She learned the language rapidly and well, and it was a joy to be with her. She felt
that her Heavenly Father had blessed her abundantly, and she would be happy the rest of her life
if she could only stay in the mission home.
One day, not long before President Grant and his family were returning to America, Sister Grant
found her crying, and asking what the trouble was, she received the answer that she didn't feel she
could stand to have the Grant family go home where she would never see them again. Soon after
this President Grant told her they would bring her with them if they could, but that she must not
be disappointed if she had to return. He made the necessary arrangements to bring her through as
the children's nursemaid, proving that she had been such for nearly three years and that she was in
his employ. He guaranteed that he would be responsible for her the rest of her life. She was
permitted to enter the United States and came to Salt Lake with President Grant and his family
and lived at their home only a few months.
One day her missionary friend came to President Grant and said that he loved this girl dearly and
was willing to make any sacrifices he would have to make in order to have her for his wife. They
were married in the Salt Lake Temple. She became the mother of four children, two sons and two
daughters, and has lived a happy, successful life. Her oldest son, Grant, has fulfilled a mission in
One day in 1905 when President and Sister Grant were sitting in front of the Sistine Madonna in
the Art Gallery in Dresden, Germany, he remarked: "Isn't it wonderful to be able to see all these
masterpieces in the original? I remember the coloring your sister Kate made of this picture for
one of the state fairs, and I think it took the first prize. I wish Kate could be with us."
Soon after this, he decided to send for Kate Wells to come to Europe for a three months' visit. She
had worked hard all her life and hadn't had many opportunities for travel. She thoroughly enjoyed
every minute of her trip and could never be grateful enough to President Grant for his generosity.
When President Grant was in Paris in 1904, a young artist was there studying. He told the
President that it would be impossible to stay longer because of lack of funds. President Grant
asked him how much he would need to continue his studies. He said, "With what I have now, I
could manage with another ten dollars a month. „ The President said, "You shall have it just as
long as you need it." This made it possible for the young artist to finish his studies and to become
a fine artist. As a result of his training he secured a position in one of our best universities.
The story of President Grant's temple work would make an interesting book. From January 1936
to May 1945, nine and one-half years, he paid in cash for genealogical research and temple work
more than $20,000. Most of this money was paid to people who needed work. He always paid a
little more for his temple work than the regular price.
On the occasion of his 82nd birthday, when Mr. Moffat, in behalf of those present, presented him
with a copper chest containing one thousand silver dollars, he said: "Nothing has pleased you
more throughout your life than to extend help to the needy. This will give you increased
opportunity and power to express your generosity." This mandate the President carried out. He
donated both the chest and dollars to the Primary Association to aid in the erection of a children's
hospital. The hospital board had these dollars made into paper weights and sold each one for one
hundred dollars or more, netting the Primary more than $1 17,000. The copper box, in the shape of
a Bee Hive, which contained the silver dollars, has been given a place in the hall of the hospital,
together with a book containing the names of those who have purchased the silver dollar paper
weights. This was one of his last benefactions.
We had the opportunity of examining the ledger record of his gifts and gratuities for three years.
During those years he must have given away the equivalent of all he received. Every entry
bespeaks his sympathetic and generous heart. Here are some items selected at random: Paid a
mortgage for a struggling friend, funeral expenses for a widow's husband, mortgage on a widow's
home, taxes on a widow's home, interest on mortgage for a young man who worked for him,
mortgage on a widow's home, funeral expenses for a friend's wife, hearing device for a deaf
person, check to a widow, another check to a widow, payment on land which he gave to a woman
who worked for him, check to a friend for missionary work. Regular monthly allowances were
paid to a number of unfortunate people.
These beneficent acts continued until the last. Here is an extract from a letter he wrote to a widow
a few days before his death:
"Will you please tell me how much you are owing on your home and let me join with you fifty-
fifty in paying it off at once instead of paying it by the month."
And here is another:
"I am very happy indeed that I have been able to be of some assistance to you. Is your home paid
for? If not, please let me know how much still remains."
The President had great affection for Joseph Everett, an artist, who served as a missionary with
him in Great Britain. Everett was a draftsman for the Union Pacific Railroad, and when that
company moved its main offices from Salt Lake to Omaha, Everett remained in Salt Lake and
was out of regular employment. The President immediately began to work out some plan to help
his friend. In the beginning he employed him on a regular salary. Later, when Everett began
teaching art, he was employed by the President for one day a week. Through this plan the artist
was given financial security. During this employment he painted for the President. These
paintings, numbering more than 200, President Grant gave away. In this way he helped this
lovable and ever grateful friend to devote his time and talents to the thing he loved most. For the
first time in his life Joseph Everett was able to give all his time to the art which he loved, and he
produced many beautiful paintings, which won for him a place of honor among the great artists of
If one were overtaken with sorrow or death in his family, the President sent messages of comfort
or some token of affection, which the recipient treasured forever. All day long he was doing
things for others, things that were practical and helpful. He contributed to every worthy cause that
came to his attention. The list of his benefactions will never be revealed, but surely the Father of
us all, who loves cheerful givers, must hold Heber J. Grant very high in his divine affections.
In all of this no mention is made of the books, paintings, letters, and tokens which he so
generously gave to thousands of people. At the time of the dedication of the Grant Library at the
Brigham Young University in Provo he estimated that he had given away in number as many
books as were in the library at that time, which was more than one hundred thousand. Many of
the books which he gave away were small ones with some impressive and inspiring message,
such as The Power of Truth by William George Jordan, and The Strength of Being Clean, by
David Starr Jordan, and others. Many of his friends have a shelf in their libraries on which all the
books that he has given them are placed, and they are and should be a prized part of any library.
He was not a wealthy man in the sense in which the world uses that term, but he was willing to
help others. To share with others less fortunate than himself was a part of his daily life. No one
close to him ever met with reverses that he did not want to share them. Few of his friends ever
had a piece of good fortune come without receiving the President's congratulations and good
wishes. His name will shine forever among the nobility of his time. No mind was more eager to
bless, no heart more tender, and no hand more generous than the mind, the heart, and the hand of
• XVII •
U CI NEVER pretended to make friends, 1 said Napoleon. * * * On a lonely little island he fretted
away the last years of his life — alone." 1
"To love and be loved is the greatest happiness in existence." 2
President Grant's friends were legion. Wherever he went the warmth and glow of his generous
heart kindled a feeling of kinship in the hearts of others. It was a joy to know him. One always
received a lift as a result of meeting him.
He frequently quoted something to this effect, "Judge a man by the company he keeps, not by his
relatives. He chooses his company, but his relatives are thrust upon him." There were two classes
of men whom he particularly admired: Those who had fought their way to recognition by
overcoming obstacles — he appreciated what that meant; and those who had made a contribution
to the good of the world. This second test to him seemed final. He had great admiration for men
who were tolerant, especially if they were friendly to his people and his religion. No man could
long remain a friend to Heber J. Grant and at the same time be actively antagonistic to his
Church. Strangers liked his fairness, his affable and democratic way, above all his generosity and
The President was a keen judge of men, always generous in his appraisal of others' achievements,
commending where commendation was merited. Among those whose association he enjoyed
were men of various creeds and denominations. However, all knew who he was and where he
stood on matters of religion, and they admired him for that stand.
John F. Fitzpatrick, publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune and Salt Lake Telegram, a consistent
Catholic, was an ardent admirer of President Grant. On many occasions Mr. Fitzpatrick showed
his affections for his Mormon friend. He never allowed the President's anniversary to pass
without sending some appropriate token of his friendship, and after the President's death, he sent
flowers to Mrs. Grant on all important anniversaries. The Grant family hold Mr. Fitzpatrick in the
highest esteem and President Grant had a real admiration for him.
The great industrialist, Henry Ford, was a warm friend and admirer of President Grant. They
enjoyed visiting together. Mr. Ford showed him every consideration.
The poet and writer, Edgar A. Guest, another distinguished citizen of Detroit, was a long-time
friend of the President's. Mr. Guest had in his backyard in Detroit a private golf course where
they played golf together. President Grant distributed many copies of some of Mr. Guest's
Among the most impressive and extraordinary of all his friends and admirers was the late Viee
President Charles G. Dawes of Chicago. These two men were very different but highly congenial.
The general had a most wholesome respect for President Grant and a very high regard for the
Latter-day Saint people. The President admired General Dawes for his courage, patriotism, and
Carl Gray, president of the Union Pacific Railroad, was another man for whom the President had
a warm place in his heart.
His relations with Fred W. Shibley were a little different. Back in 1921, during the confusion and
upheaval of the post-war finances, Mr. Shibley came to Salt Lake City from New York. He was
vice-president of the Banker's Trust Company. The Utah-Idaho Sugar Company was in financial
distress at the time because of a sudden slump in the price of sugar. Mr. Shibley came here as a
representative of the creditors of that company. Efforts were made before he came to Utah and
after he arrived to discredit the Church, its leaders and its people, in his mind. One man said,
"Those Mormons are a bright lot; they are just getting rich at the expense of their followers by
gathering the tithing for their own benefit." Mr. Shibley was not an easy man to deceive. He soon
realized that the fellows who were trying to "stuff him were not telling the truth. In proof of this
President Grant used to quote Mr. Shibley as follows: "Yesterday morning the President of the
Church invited me to come and have breakfast with him. He had invited me to dinner, but I had a
previous engagement; the next day I had another engagement; die following day I had to leave for
New York; so he said, come up and take breakfast at eight o'clock in the morning. I agreed. There
was no hired girl there. His daughter came in from the next house where she lived and fried the
pancakes. Oh, I had a practical illustration of the way he was grafting the Church, living in a
modest house that any ordinary man with a salary of $350.00 a month could support."
As a result of Mr. Shibley's visit to Utah a plan was developed under which the banks, in
cooperation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, effected an extension of credit
for the sugar company, which gave it time to dispose of its surplus sugar and pay its indebtedness
to the banks. That was the purpose of his visit. The fairness, understanding, and courage of Mr.
Shibley won the President's everlasting gratitude and friendship.
Among all of Heber J. Grant's friends and admirers we must, however, give first place to
Alexander G. Haws. Several references are made to him in this biography. The President
frequently referred to him in these terms:
"The nearest and dearest friend I ever had in the world outside of my own people was die late
Alexander Gilhirst Haws. He came to my mother's home as an unmarried man when I was a
child, and he resided with us for six months. Years later he returned with his bride, and his first
child was born in our home. He was a loyal friend not only to me but also to our people. He was
here when Senator Reed Smoot was striving to maintain his seat in the Senate of the United
States, and he called on the Senator (that was in the city of Washington) and asked if he could do
anydiing for him. The Senator said, 'What can I do for you, sir?' He said, 'Nothing, I have come to
ask you if I can do anything for you? Have you the votes of the Senators from California for you
to keep your seat?' 'No,' the Senator replied. 'I will go right out and fix it. They are my personal
friends. They are members of the Bohemian Club/ He and one other man, Rafael Wheel, were the
only survivors of the organizers of that club. He succeeded in getting these men to pledge
themselves to vote for the Senator first, last and all the time, notwithstanding they had received
petitions from California bearing thousands of names against the Senator's retaining his seat.
'Then,' he said, 'I remember fighting with so-and-so in tire (Bloody Seventh) as it was called in
Illinois, which lost more men in proportion to its numbers than any other regiment. He was one of
my fellow officers, and I got his vote.' Then he spoke of other votes he had secured. He said, 1
would like to stay here all summer, if my business did not call me away, and fight that this man
shall keep his seat. A more un-American, damnable idea never entered into the mind of men, than
to deprive an honorable man of his seat in the United States Senate, because he is an Apostle of
the Church that is looked upon with contempt.' He said, 1 have done this little work for the
Senator for three reasons: (I was in England presiding over the European Mission at the time I
received this letter.) First, because it was right, and I like always to be on the right side. (By the
way he was one of John Brown's men in early days.)
And I always try to get my numerals right; you ought to come third in place of second. Third,
because it is mighty good Republican politics.' " 3
Daniel C. Jackling came to Utah before the turn of the century and soon sprang into world
renown as a mining engineer as a result of his developing the new milling processes which he
The Salt Lake Tribune (November 23, 1937) commenting editorially said: "The election of D. C.
Jackling as president of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers is a
merited recognition of one of the most conspicuous figures in the mining world. * He has been
awarded medals for distinguished service in civil capacities during World War I, and for notable
achievements in the development and operation of mining properties scattered from Alaska
through Utah, Arizona, to Chili in South America."
The following letters show the warm friendship which existed between these two men:
Salt Lake City, Utah November 15, 1941
My dear Mr. Jackling:
I am slowly improving, still I am forced because of my health to neglect many things which
deserve my personal attention. This accounts for the tardy acknowledgment of your wonderful
letter of July 11. Seldom have I been more impressed with a letter than with yours. Your
understanding and your interpretation of the character and service of the immortal Lincoln I share
fully. This cements a little firmer the friendship that has so long existed between us. The whole
spirit of your letter adds to my appreciation of your character and your great achievements. There
is no doubt in my mind but that Abraham Lincoln was inspired from on High, that he was raised
up of the Almighty to do the great work which he did, for no man preached more eloquently or
practiced more perfectly the precepts of the Master than did Lincoln. He trusted implicitly in the
goodness and guidance of the Almighty. Lincoln was divinely fitted for the gigantic task assigned
to him and was sustained and directed by the hand of Providence in the performance of that task.
Your expressions of faith in and your humble reverence for an overruling Providence who gives
divine direction to the affairs of men shows a profound religious conviction and faith in God
which we both share. I believe, as you modestly intimated, that the Almighty inspired you when
you recognized in Bingham more than forty years ago the new order of mineral industry which
has spread throughout the world and has now come to represent the production of about two-
thirds of the copper of the earth. You are right, the human mind of itself cannot and does not
deserve credit for such revolutionary discoveries.
I am grateful for the testimony which I have of the existence and personality of God, for my
knowledge of his goodness and power and mercy, for the assurance which I have of his
forgiveness of our sins and mistakes and his great love for mankind. I hope you share this with
For your kind sentiments and reassurances of your personal friendship I am deeply grateful. Your
attitude toward our people and our religion has always been one of the most friendly and
sympathetic character. I greatly appreciate that. I remember with much pleasure your delightful
visit with me this past summer, and I am looking forward to more visits with you. Your great
ability, your splendid achievements command my admiration. Your faith in God and your
friendship win my confidence and affection. I thank you most cordially for your letter and remain
With the best of good wishes,
Sincerely yours, Heber J. Grant
San Francisco, Calif. November 19, 1941
Mr. Heber J. Grant, President
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Salt Lake City, Utah
My dear President Grant:
The first occasion for this writing is to convey to you my very earnest congratulations and well
wishes for the forthcoming 85th anniversary of your birth on next Saturday. I realize that mine is
only a small voice in a multitude of those who will acclaim this happy event — some orally, of
which I wish I could be one; some in written phrase, as I do, and many more in silent
thankfulness to the Almighty that you are spared to continue your wonderful life of leadership,
sacred in the service of God and magnificent in its influence in furtherance of the inherent human
rights and the exercise of these in civilized progress. I will continue to hope, and would pray if I
could, that I may have many future opportunities of renewing my heartfelt felicitations upon
recurring anniversaries of your long and marvelously useful life.
My second purpose is to endeavor at least to thank you for your letter of November 15th, which
impresses me as constituting the highest commendation that ever came to me from either the
voice or pen of man. I am doubly grateful for your kind and comforting expressions, realizing that
they represent exactions of your time and strength which might have been devoted to a subject
more worthy. I am thankful, however, that you found it in your heart and spirit to bestow upon
me those gracious words of approval which I consider and shall ever reverence as a spiritual
With kindest regards now and always to you, your family, and the exemplary and righteous
causes you represent, I am,
Very sincerely yours, D. C. Jackling
His love for and his loyalty to his predecessors in office and to his associates in the Church was a
little different. So intense was his loyalty to his religion that anyone who was steadfast in his
allegiance to the Church was his friend.
From the time he was a boy of six until he was twenty-one years of age he was a frequent visitor
at President Young's home. "I remember saying to the vice president of a great bank with assets
of hundreds of million dollars, that the day would come when Brigham Young would be
acknowledged as one of the greatest pioneers and colonizers that ever lived. The banker replied
'Why say the day will come, no man who knows anything about the accomplishments of Brigham
Young but would say the day has come/ " 4
It is interesting in this connection to note that on June 1, 1950, the 149th anniversary of Brigham
Young's birth there was unveiled in the Rotunda in the nation's Capitol a marble statue of him, by
his nationally renowned grandson, Mahonri M. Young. The speakers on this historic occasion
were George Albert Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Alben
W. Barkley, Vice President of the United States; Elbert D. Thomas, senior Senator from Utah; J.
Bracken Lee, Governor of Utah, and Carl Hayden, Senator from Arizona. This statue was given a
place of honor in the Hall of Fame.
That great leader and empire builder took a fatherly interest in the orphan boy who was the son of
his beloved counselor Jeddie Grant. Heber was always as welcome in President Young's home as
were his own children, and he learned to love Brigham Young with the affection which boys have
for their own earthly parents. He paid this tribute to his predecessors, including President
"It has fallen to my lot, although a very weak humble instrument in the hands of the Lord, to
succeed the wonderful men who have presided over this Church-die Prophet Joseph Smith, than
whom no greater man I believe has ever graced the earth; that marvelous pioneer, Brigham
Young; that mighty champion of liberty, John Taylor; that exceptional converter of men to the
gospel of Jesus Christ, Wilford Woodruff; Lorenzo Snow, an extraordinary man at eighty-five
years of age, who in three years lifted the Church from the slough of financial despondency to a
place of financial honor; and that man beloved by all who knew him, one of the outstanding men
of all the world, Joseph F. Smith, the greatest preacher of righteousness I have ever known." 5
President Grant knew most of the leading bankers, insurance men, sugar producers, and
industrialists of the United States, and they welcomed a visit from him and sought his opinion on
important questions of the day. They regarded him as a great religious leader. He was a friend-
maker, an ambassador for his people and a servant of God. Many distinguished men were proud
to be numbered among his friends.
• XVIII •
THE venerable leader lived past his eighty-eighth milestone. From his childhood his birthdays
were observed with expressions of affection in keeping with the customs of those pioneer days.
His fond mother never allowed one to pass without the assurance of her love shown in the wisest
and happiest way.
As his family grew older, his anniversaries were looked forward to with ever-increasing interest
and delight. In his later years they took on an importance which reached well beyond his family
circle. These occasions afforded his friends and admirers, nation-wide, an opportunity to felicitate
him, to show the great esteem in which they held him and to express the love and admiration
which they had for him. His home and his office on these occasions were banked with most
gorgeous bouquets and floral pieces. Committees and delegations representing organizations and
institutions called on him; personal visits, long-distance calls, letters, telegrams, cablegrams,
messages, remembrances, gifts, and tokens almost engulfed him.
Commenting on his seventy-fifth birthday, he said, "People think that when a man gets to be
seventy-five all he can talk about is himself, that he has no thoughts of the future." Then he
quoted this poem:
Age is a quality of mind:
If your dreams you've left behind,
If hope is cold: If you no longer look ahead, If your ambitions' fires are dead-Then you are old.
But if from life you take the best, And if in life you keep the zest,
If love you hold; No matter how the years go by, No matter how the birthdays fly —
You are not old.
The climax of these occasions was the celebration of his eighty-second birthday, November 22,
1938. It began on Tuesday the 22nd with a band concert given in the Church office building by
the Brigham Young University band and was followed in the evening by a family dinner in the
Lion House Social Center. At this dinner eighty of his direct descendants were present. His
grandchildren and his great-grandchildren regaled him with a program of musical and dramatic
numbers depicting the major events of his life. The observance of this anniversary, however,
reached its peak in a great banquet given by five hundred leading men of the state of Utah in the
Lafayette Ballroom of the Hotel Utah, Wednesday evening, November 23. This was the twentieth
anniversary of his presidency of the Church. The occasion seemed to have a dual purpose. It was
a token of respect and affection for the beloved President personally, and it was evidence that the
old feelings of acrimony and bitterness against the Church and its leaders were of the past. This
marked the passing of the animosity and persecutions which had been manifest from the very
organization of the Church.
Just what part President Grant played in bringing about this change may not be accurately
assessed, but the tendency to harmony seemed somehow to center about his remarkable
personality. This was not a sudden change, but rather a gradual development of friendly
The changed attitude of the Salt Lake Tribune was a large factor in promoting amity and
understanding among all the people. President Grant came to cherish the friendship and enjoy the
confidence of Mr. A. N. McKay, many years the manager of the Salt Lake Tribune, who adopted
a fair and friendly attitude toward the Mormon people. This attitude is still maintained under the
management of John F. Fitzpatrick. The confidence and friendship of these men was altogether
The Salt Lake Tribune of November 24, 1938, referring to the birthday banquet, reported in part
"Tribute to Heber J. Grant, as religious leader, empire builder, business executive, and
humanitarian, was paid by distinguished groups of citizens Wednesday night, November 23rd, in
the Hotel Utah. The occasion was in honor of the eighty-second birthday anniversary of the
beloved President of the L.D.S. Church, whose life's span has seen the development of Salt Lake
City, from a frontier community to a metropolis of a vast empire. "More than five hundred of his
friends and business associates — some from out of the state — were seated in the Lafayette
Ballroom for a birthday party, unique in the annals of the state.
"The proceedings from beginning to end were marked with dignity, and many expressions of
esteem for the man who rose from the poverty of a pioneer home to a position of eminence in the
nation, rang with sincerity and genuine admiration.
"One of the highlights came when President Grant received a tangible expression of the esteem in
which he was held by those who honored him on this occasion. He received a chest of Utah
copper made by Utah's craftsmen, and filled to the brim with one thousand of Utah's silver
dollars. D. D. Moffat, vice-president and general manager of the Utah Copper Company, who
made the presentation said: 'Nothing has pleased you more throughout your life than to extend
help to the needy. This will give you increased opportunity and power to express your generosity.'
Mr. Moffat said to President Grant the contents of this chest were his to command for any
humanitarian purpose that he might devise, adding: 'We give you Utah silver to carry on your
"Engraved on a plate attached to the chest were the dates- November 22, 1856, and November 22,
1938. Below is this inscription: Presented with love and esteem to President Heber J. Grant on
his birthday anniversary by a group of friends and associates, Banquet, Hotel Utah, November 23,
From the time the program was opened by general chairman, John F. Fitzpatrick, the evening
progressed smoothly and without discord. When the guests left, they were agreed it was an event
which would live long in their memories.
The speakers at the banquet were, in their order: Mayor John M. Wallace, Governor Henry H.
Blood, Frederick P. Champ, Logan businessman and chairman of the board of trustees at the
U.S.A.C.; the Most Reverend Duane G. Hunt, Bishop of the Salt Lake Diocese of the Catholic
Church; Lane W. Adams, a young businessman of Salt Lake, and J. Reuben Clark, Jr., First
Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church.
Hundreds of telegrams congratulating President Grant were received. Mr. Gadsby explained that
it would be possible to read but a few. Among the messages read were those from W. A.
Harriman, chairman of the board of the Union Pacific Railroad; Charles G. Dawes, former vice
president of the United States; D. C. Jackling, president of the Utah Copper Company; Louis C.
Cates, president of the Phelps-Dodge Company; Ralph Budd, president of the Chicago-
Burlington and Quincy Railroad; William Jeffers, president of the Union Pacific; and Ross
Beason, of New York, formerly of Salt Lake.
Commenting editorially under date of November 25, 1938, the Salt Lake Tribune said:
"There stands a man! In this theme and this spirit five hundred friends and business associates
paid sincere and earnest tribute to Heber J. Grant, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, at a testimonial dinner at the Hotel Utah, Wednesday evening. Seldom, if ever,
has such a group assembled to honor a single living individual in Utah. In all of Utah's business
and industrial history, there is no parallel for this demonstration of friendliness and fellowship.
President Grant took deep pride in the kindly admiration and praise which were bestowed upon
him. No greater homage could be paid a man for a life's work, rich in human service and
righteous leadership. No one could arrive at his eighty-second milestone in such a setting and fail
to glean satisfaction and contentment from a life's work symbolized in this fashion.
"There was something more than individual tribute in this bond of friendship. In all of Utah's
history there is no signal of unity more poignant with peaceful understanding than this one. To
attain such a goal is the work of generations devoted to all that is good in civilization. At this
testimonial dinner tendered President Grant, honoring his eighty-second birthday, this spirit was
manifest. It was significant of a unity of civic, business, and religious groups in a common cause-
building a greater state and a nobler people. To be the medium for such an expression was
pleasing to the venerable Church leader, loved and admired by all his associates without regard to
"The significance of this gathering should be felt for years, end on end. More and more people
will share the comradeship and the aspiration and the hopes which were manifest at this meeting.
"The copper chest of silver presented President Grant in grateful appreciation of his own
benefactions with the wish that these benefactions may continue onindefinitely was a pleasing
recognition of the generosity and humanitarian spirit of President Grant. It was a tangible spirit of
the sincerity of the tribute paid by lip and tongue/'
This editorial comment of the Salt Lake Tribune revealed the feeling behind the tribute. It was a
spontaneous and genuine expression of fellowship for him and at the same time a signal of amity
and understanding that prophesied a harmonious future in the efforts to build up this
Three years later, on his eighty-fifth birthday, one of the notable events was the presentation to
him of a beautifully embellished copy of Gospel Standards, which is made up of selections from
his sermons and writings collected by G. Homer Durham, and published by The Improvement
Era. There have been sold more than 35,000 copies of this book. The fact that so many copies
have been sold is high proof of its acceptance and appreciation by the members of the Church.
Many thousands have read and studied it, and its readers have been inspired with a desire to do
then* duty, live their religion, and show their faith by their works.
This editorial appeared in the Deseret News November 22, 1944, on his eighty-eighth birthday:
President Heber J. Grant
"Fourscore and eight years have come and gone since the venerable President of the Church first
saw the light of day in a home that stood on Main Street where Z.C.M.I. now stands. From the
summit of eighty-eight years he looks across a colorful and wonderful career. Seasoned in
judgment, secure in faith, serene and tranquil in spirit, he stands upon this eminence respected,
honored, and loved by all who know him. He is a church man, a civic leader, a benevolent patron
of art, of education, and of culture — and withal a great citizen. For twenty-six years he has
presided over this people. His constant and unwavering devotion, his Christian example, his
fervent testimony of the divine mission of the savior of the world have inspired the people to a
steadfast adherence to the Church which under his leadership has moved steadily forward until
today its membership exceeds 900,000.
"The President comes to this milestone, not in robust health, but free from pain and with a heart
overflowing with gratitude to his associates, to the people whom he serves and to the benevolent
Creator whom he worships.
"President Grant has traveled among many peoples and over much of the earth's surface, and
wherever he has gone he has made friends for himself and his cause. He has lived long,
abundantly and purposefully, devoting his great energies to exalted ends, giving to every
righteous cause the influence of his great office and the support of his powerful personality. He is
a man of affairs but singularly free from unhallowed ambitions. Selfishness, greed, and avarice
find no place in his life. President Grant knows the joy of giving. His benefactions have extended
in all directions — everywhere blessing individuals and helping institutions. One cannot come to
know this venerable leader intimately without thinking less of money and more of people, less of
the things of the world and more of the things of the spirit. He holds in his heart no greed for
wealth, no ambition for worldly honor that would not be cheerfully surrendered in the interests of
his Church. Running through his life, permeating his words, motivating his actions are a zeal for
the truth, a love for the work of God and humanity. His life is an open book — a record of service
to others. No analysis of his character would reveal a trace of hypocrisy. He is transparently
frank, intrinsically honest, unselfishly devoted to his people, his country, and his God.
"Heber J. Grant has a brilliant and resourceful mind, clear and fast in action, a will that expresses
itself in persistent and enlightened effort, dominated always by motives both generous and lofty.
He made the dreams of his youth shining realities. His achievements as a young man will forever
stir the hope and quicken the confidence of ambitious boys who are struggling against odds to
win an honorable place in the world."
HEBER J. GRANT'S sympathies were no less profound and no less responsive than were his
desires to give and to help. These virtues spring from the same depths and are inspired by the
same generous motives. His sympathies were universal and worldwide. The desire to do for
others was always present with him. His constant concern was the happiness of others.
In his later years, when his health was such that he could no longer travel among the Saints, it
was his practice to take an automobile ride in the afternoon, but he never went alone. He had a
long list of widows and old friends who shared this pleasure with him. One of his friends, a good
man, had retired. The president called to see him; he found him despondent and lonely, but this
visit brought sunshine into the man's life and filled him with renewed hope. Retired stake
presidents and men who had given long and faithful service to the Church frequently received
letters of commendation and appreciation for their service, letters which they cherished all their
remaining days. These examples show how deep-seated his feelings and affections were.
What a cloud of witnesses could testify to his encouraging and sympathetic help.
His wife, Lucy Stringham, after a protracted illness, died at the age of thirty-five. She spent
several months in a hospital in California where she had gone in the vain hope that a change of
climate might help her. His daughter, Lucy, has written: "During the years of my Mother's illness,
which lasted over a long period of time, Father's attentions were so constant and so considerate as
to be commented upon, not only by his family and intimate friends, but also by strangers who
knew of this evidence of devotion. For six months I was with my modier while she was receiving
treatment in California hospitals, and as often as was possible he was with us. Flowers came at
frequent intervals; fruits, dainties, and clothes, everything he could send her was hers. Almost
every day a letter reached her, and if, for some reason, it was delayed, even the nurses would
notice it. I remember the Sister Superior saying to Mother that in all her years of nursing she had
never had any man treat his wife as considerately as Mother was treated. She said she would
never believe any of the bad stories which were told her of the Mormons.' 1
Notwithstanding his fervent prayers in her behalf and his constant solicitude for her recovery, she
gradually grew weaker and finally passed away. Referring to the time of her death, he said:
"We have assurance through the revelations that have been given by the Lord our God that the
body and the spirit shall be eternally united and that there will a time, through the blessing and
mercy of God, when we will no more have sorrow but when we shall have conquered all of these
things that are of a distressing character and shall stand up in the presence of the Living God,
filled with joy and peace and satisfaction.
"I was thoroughly convinced in my own mind and in my own heart, when my first wife left me by
death, that it was the will of the Lord that she should be called away. I bowed in humility at her
death. The Lord saw fit upon that occasion to give to one of my little children a testimony that the
death of her mother was the will of the Lord.
"About one hour before my wife died, I called my children into her room and told them that their
mother was dying and for them to bid her good-bye. One of the little girls, about twelve years of
age, said to me: 'Papa, I do not want my mamma to die. I have been with her in the hospital in
San Francisco for six months; time and time again when mamma was in distress, you have
administered to her, and she has been relieved of her pain and quietly gone to sleep. I want you to
lay hands upon my mamma and heal her/
"I told my little girl that we all had to die sometime, and that I felt assured in my heart that her
mother's time had arrived. She and the rest of the children left the room.
"I then knelt down by the bed of my wife (who by this time had lost consciousness) and I told the
Lord I acknowledged his hand in life, in death, in joy, in sorrow, in prosperity, or adversity. I
thanked him for the knowledge I had that my wife belonged to me for all eternity, that through
the power and authority of the priesthood here on the earth that I could and would have my wife
forever if I were only faithful as she had been. But I told the Lord that I lacked the strength to
have my wife die and to have it affect the faith of my little children in die ordinances of the
gospel of Jesus Christ; and I supplicated the Lord with all the strength that I possessed, that he
would give to that little girl of mine a knowledge that it was his mind and his will that her
mamma should die.
"Within an horn* my wife passed away, and I called the children back into the room. My little
boy, about five and one-half or six years of age, was weeping bitterly, and the little girl twelve
years of age took him in her arms and said: 'Do not weep, Heber; since we went out of this room,
the voice of the Lord from heaven has said to me, In the death of your mamma the will of the
Lord shall be done/ " 2
Following his wife's death he took the three oldest of his little girls on a visit to New York,
Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Hartford, Washington, and other places of interest so that they
might forget the sorrow of their mother's death. While he was in Washington, the two oldest girls
were stricken with diphtheria. In those days diphtheria was one of the most malignant and fatal of
all diseases. He related that he had known cases in which six and seven or eight children of a
family had died of that dreadful disease, and now two of his children were taken down with it,
and they were nigh unto death.
He heard the doctor say to one of the nurses, "If you miss giving that child a stimulant every
fifteen minutes, if you miss just one, she will die. She can't live an hour without this stimulant."
President Grant stayed up all night to see that she did not miss giving the stimulant. The next
morning, this child was no better, and he went into her bedroom and shed some bitter tears at the
thought that probably he would have to take his little girl home in a coffin. While engaged in this
prayer, the spirit suggested to him that the power of the priesthood was here on earth and to send
for die elders.
George Q. Cannon was in Washington at the time and also Bishop Hiram B. Clawson, the father
of Elder Rudger Clawson of die Council of the Twelve, and he sent for them to come and
administer to the child. They responded. Brother Clawson anointed her and Brother Cannon
sealed the anointing and in doing so he said:
"The adversary, the destroyer has decreed your death and made public announcement of this
decree, but by the authority of the priesthood of God, which we hold as his servants, and in the
name of Jesus Christ our Redeemer, we rebuke the decree of the destroyer and say you shall live."
From that hour she began to mend. When die children were sufficiently recovered to leave, the
husband of the woman who kept the boardinghouse where they stayed said he could not keep
from telling die President a joke on his wife. He said his wife believed in spiritualistic mediums
and in communication through the mediums. He said, "When your little girls were taken sick in
the house, she went to the medium who told her the following story: 'I see in your home two little
girls. I see that the older one of the two girls has taken sick. I see she is very sick. I see now that
the next little girl has taken sick. I see now that she is very sick. I see now that both of them are
sick nigh unto death, and I see the elder of the two girls recover and I see the second little girl die/
Then she described the journey of that body in a coffin from Washington to Salt Lake City. She
described the territory over which they passed to come to these far off mountains to the Salt Lake
Valley. She described the burial ground on the hillside." All of this she had told her husband.
Then George Q. Cannon's statement, "The adversary has decreed your death and made public
announcement of it, and we rebuke that decree," was made clear to President Grant. Instead of the
little girl being buried as the spiritualistic medium said she would be, because the devil himself
had inspired her to do so, the priesthood of God rebuked the decree of death, and she lived and
became the mother of seven beautiful children.
The President's tenderness and consideration for his children, especially in times of sickness,
were beautiful examples of parental affection.
His wife had been dead about two years when his son, Heber, died. Referring to his death, the
"I had been blessed with only two sons. One of them died at five years of age and the other at
"My last son died of a hip disease. I had built great hopes that he would live to spread the gospel
at home and abroad and be an honor to me. About an hour before he died I had a dream that his
mother, who was dead, came for him, and that she brought with her a messenger, and she told this
messenger to take the boy while I was asleep. In the dream I thought I awoke, and I seized my
son and fought for him and finally succeeded in getting him away from the messenger who had
come to take him, and in so doing I dreamed that I stumbled and fell upon him.
"I dreamed that I fell upon his sore hip, and the terrible cries and anguish of the child drove me
nearly wild. I could not stand it, and I jumped up and ran out of the house so as not to hear his
distress. I dreamed that after running out of the house I met Brother Joseph E. Taylor and told
him of these things.
"He said: 'Well, Heber, do you know what I would do if my wife came for one of her children — I
would not struggle for that child; I would not oppose her taking that child away. If a mother who
had been faithful had passed beyond the veil, she would know of the suffering and the anguish
her child may have to suffer. She should know whether that child might go through life as a
cripple and whether it would be better or wiser for that child to be relieved from the torture of
life. And when you stop to think, Brother Grant, that the mother of that boy went down into the
shadow of death to give him life, she is the one who ought to have the right to take him or leave
"I said, 'I believe you are right, Brother Taylor, and if she comes again, she shall have the boy
without any protest on my part.
"After coming to that conclusion, I was waked by my brother, B. F. Grant, who was staying that
night with us. He came into the room and told me that the child was dying. I went in the front
room and sat down. There was a vacant chair between me and my wife who is now living, and I
felt the presence of that boy's deceased mother sitting in that chair. I did not tell anybody what I
felt, but I turned to my wife and said, 'Do you feel anything strange?'
'Yes, I feel assured that Heber's mother is sitting between us, waiting to take him away.'
"Now, I am naturally, I believe, a sympathetic man. I was raised as an only child with all the
affection that a mother could lavish upon a boy. I believe that I am naturally affectionate and
sympathetic and that I shed tears for my friends — tears of joy for their success and tears of sorrow
for their misfortunes. But I sat by the deathbed of my little boy and saw him die, without
shedding a tear. My living wife, my brother, and I upon that occasion experienced a sweet,
peaceful, and heavenly influence in my home, as great as I have ever experienced in my life. And
no person can tell me that every other Latter-day Saint that has a knowledge of the gospel in his
heart and soul, can really mourn for his loved ones; only in the loss of their society here in this
"I never think of my wives and my dear mother, my two boys, my daughter, my departed friends,
and my beloved associates as being in the graveyard. I think only of the joy they have in meeting
with father and mother and loved ones who have been true and faithful to the gospel of the Lord
Jesus Christ. My mind reaches out to the wonderful joy and satisfaction and happiness that they
are having, and it robs the grave of its sting." 3
The quality of faith to which he referred and which sustained him in the sad hour of death is the
most comforting influence that ever solaced the aching heart. No doubt the questions which the
thoughtful people of the world would rather have answered than any others are: What is death?
What lies beyond the grave? Where do we go from here? The President had the answers, and all
who share his faith are inspired and comforted by the glorious assurance that on the other side
death is a joyful homecoming. That knowledge lifts the veil of darkness that shrouds death and
banishes the shadows of doubt and despair forever from the grave. What a boon such a faith
Augusta Grant's diary records:
"Little Herby has been sick a whole year. He is such a dear, patient, little fellow and so brave. He
has been on his cot for several months without being able to move, a weight hung on his little
lame leg, and just lying there so patiently and looking so pathetic, and always saying, I'm better.'
He has been in grandma's room all winter and she has given her entire time to him. Once when I
went into his room, he was so weary he said, I'm not happy.' I bathed his feet and hands and
brushed his hair and fixed his pillow and kissed him, and he smiled like the dear child he is and
said, 'Now I am happy.' Our little Herby died on the 27th of February and our hearts are very,
very sad. Ibid., Vol. 49, p. 178.
We miss the dear little face and sweet voice of the patient little invalid. Everything that could be
thought of has been done for him, and surely the fasting, faith, and prayers offered for him could
have availed if it had not been the will of the Lord that he should be taken. It was hard for Heber
to give him up, but he feels that it was the will of the Lord to bear it bravely. We all feel
consolation in the thought that he is free from all pain and suffering and happy with his mother,
but we find our house is very lonely without our dear little boy/' 4
THE first indication of the President's failing health came five years before his death. He was
making an official visit to the stakes in Southern California, and Sunday morning, February 4,
1940, as he stepped out of his car, he fell but insisted upon entering the chapel where he took his
place on the stand. He did not speak in the morning session but returned in the afternoon and
spoke for thirty-five to forty minutes with his usual vigor. Next morning, however, as he
attempted to get out of bed, he fell to the floor with another attack. He was taken immediately to
the hospital. His speech was somewhat affected, and his left side helpless. It was a stroke. His
recovery was remarkable. Although his sickness left him slightly impaired physically, in all other
respects he was able to resume his normal activities. The last year his physical energies began to
fail. He came to the office often when he had to be carried in a wheel chair to sign his letters until
Friday, May 1 1, 1945, when he was so weak that he could not turn in his bed unaided. This was
the beginning of the end. Death came gradually and peacefully and on the evening of Monday,
May 14, he passed away in his vine -clad cottage, not far from the place where he was born.
At three-thirty Thursday the casket was taken to the Church Office Building where he had spent
most of his waking hours for the last twenty-six years. The casket stood between two pillars in the
foyer facing west. Palms were banked on each wall. In front of the casket were fifteen baskets of
flowers; at the head and foot were large wreaths. Near the head of the casket was the American
flag on a stand. At five o'clock the building opened to the public. For hours thousands had been
standing in line on the streets. During the three hours the building was opened to the public, five
thousand, people passed his bier. Funeral services were held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle the
following day at noon. The speakers were George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, and J. Reuben
Clark, Jr. Music was furnished by the Tabernacle choir. It was estimated that 12,000 people were
in the building. The Assembly Hall was filled, and there were thousands on the grounds listening
to the loud speaker. Memorial services were held the following Sunday all over the Church. He
lived eighty-eight years, five months, and twenty-two days, and his mortal remains were laid to
rest in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, May 18, 1945.
Thus came to a close one of the most illustrious careers in the history of the Church. Heber J.
Grant was a friend of youth and a benefactor of the aged; strong where most men are weak; great
in his sincerity and in his purity of purpose; magnificent in his loyalty to his family, his friends,
his country, and his Creator. "Follow me," was the essence of his leadership. His philanthropies
placed him in a class by himself. His faith was steadfast and beautiful and always manifested in
deeds. He had a great and forgiving heart free from sordidness and greed, and a will that brooked
no failure. His name will shine forever in the annals of his people as a distinguished citizen, as a
businessman, as a humanitarian, as a patron of art and education, as a leader of men and a servant
HE WAS OF THE GREAT ONES OF THE EARTH
HEBER J. GRANT'S career was fast moving and colorful. The intermountain commonwealth
was in its infancy when he was born. Through most of the eighty-eight years that made up his
life's span, he was identified with its growth and active in its development. The years from 1856
to 1945 were eventful years in this Church — years of poverty and persecution, followed by years
of prosperity and plenty. From his boyhood his interests were identified with its interests; its well-
being was his constant concern. He developed early in life and did a man's work while yet a boy,
but his greatest work was done after he was sixty years of age. It was a long preparation, but
subsequent events and achievements justified it. During the more than twenty-six years that he
was President, he gave the Church a great administration, and the responsibility of that high
office developed the greatness and splendor of his character. President Grant was no ordinary
man. He belonged in the category of the great. I have spoken of his friendship, his human
kindness, his understanding heart, his transparent frankness, his rugged honesty, his faith, his
power to persist, his brilliant achievements, the application of his religion to daily life, his
integrity, his love of music, of nature, and of all things of beauty. These virtues were finely
integrated in his character. If one were called upon to select the characteristics that were dominant
in his life, the list would include his loyalty, his magnanimity, his continuity of purpose. Loyalty,
that fundamental and shining virtue in all worth-while lives, permeated all that he said and did. It
manifested itself in a steadfast, thorough-going devotion to any cause he espoused, to any friend
or institution with which he was associated. His magnanimity was magnificent, he seemed to be
devoid of self-seeking. His entire life was adorned with deeds of generosity. No one matched him
in this respect. His joy in giving knew no bounds. He shared the good things and the joy of life
It was heartwarming to know him. Forty years ago I received a letter written in his free and
graceful handwriting, enclosing a copy of the following poem:
TO MY SON
Do you know that your soul is of my soul such a part, That you seem to be fiber and core of my
heart? None other can pain me as you, dear, can do; None other can please me or praise me as
Remember the world will be quick with its blame, If shadow or stain ever darken your name.
"Like mother, like son," is a saying so true, The World will judge largely of mother by you.
Be yours, then the task, if task it should be, To force the proud world to do homage to me. Be
sure it will say when its verdict you've won, She reaped as she sowed, Lo! This is her son.
— Margaret Johnstone Graflin
In this letter he said:
"I was not very well-acquainted with your mother but knew and loved your father. I looked upon
him as one of the loyal and true men of this dispensation. Permit me to assure you that you have,
in my judgment, been one of the splendid sons of the Church, who have 'forced the proud world
to pay homage to your mother/ * * *
"I happened to be at home this morning without an appointment and have been writing to my
brothers, sending them copies of the poem 'To My Son.' In sending this poem to my brothers I
thought of many of my dear friends to whom I would like to send a copy, but I cannot go very far
as the list is too long and the time is too short.
"You have my love and my confidence as your father had. Our fathers gave their best as did our
mothers for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and my earnest prayers are that we may do the same. If we
can live worthy of them, there is nothing in this life or in the life to come which is of real value
which will not be ours.
"With love and blessings and hoping you and yours may have peace, prosperity, and happiness in
this life and an eternity of joy in the life to come I am affectionately your brother, Heber J.
This letter, now yellow with age, is greatly treasured. The tributes paid to my father and my
mother and the appeal, in which he joined, to emulate the examples of our parents and the
unsolicited expression of confidence in me have been an inspiration during all the years since he
wrote it. These are the things that live.
The hand that penned those words is cold in death, and the heart that inspired them beats no more,
but the words will linger with me as long as memory lasts. The motive that lies behind this simple
deed, though hard to define, is one of the things that made Heber J. Grant great.
Here are the words of a few of the distinguished ones who appraised his worth when he was gone,
but the humble and the poor whom he served most and who loved him best are not heard. Could
they stand up and speak, what a cloud of witnesses would testify in his behalf!
When he had finished his career, this is what some men said of him.
President George Albert Smith said at his funeral:
"He was a giant among men, radiating hope, courage, and peace among hundreds and thousands
of our Father's children. He was always interested in the development of the youth.
Notwithstanding his ability along many other lines, his major anxiety in life was the development
of the sons and daughters of the living God."
The Idaho Free Press said: 1
"He seemed to combine two unrelated mental capacities: to think and feel as the religious
prophets of "he was of the great ones of the earth" old must have thought and felt, to be aflame
with an evangelistic fervor one does not often see in this materialistic age, and also to be able to
think as a present-day man of practical affairs does.
"His patriarchal appearance and powerful voice added to the impressiveness of his public
utterances. His oratory was not the studied polished variety. His strong moral integrity, his
remarkable industry and ingenuity coupled with his striking appearance and magnetic personality
have carved for him a prominent niche in the communal life of the West."
The Utah Farmer commented editorially as follows: 2
"On May 18, 1945, the portals of the tomb closed over all that was mortal of Heber J. Grant. This
marked the end of a long and wonderful career — eighty-eight years of purposeful, triumphant
living. He was a most extraordinary man; distinguished as a church leader, a citizen, an industrial
pioneer, a patron of art, a promoter of education, a companion of the great, and a friend of the
poor. He was practical; his religion always registered in rugged honesty, injustice mellowed with
mercy, in deeds of helpfulness and service to others. In his younger days he was thin, tall, and
bearded, with strong but refined features and a complexion that was almost transparent — withal,
an impressive personality. And he was no less impressive mentally, for he had a resourceful and
vigorous mind, fast in action, clear in decisions. While he was serenely sure of himself, at the
same time he was one of the most friendly, approachable and democratic of men. The humblest
were at ease in his presence and the renowned were deferential, but both were happy with him.
Heber J. Grant was intensely loyal to his friends and his convictions, unwavering in his devotion
to his country, steadfast in his faith and untiring in his zeal for the truth. His magnanimity and
generosity of soul were princely. To know him at close range was to discover a tenderness of
heart and a nobility of soul unknown to the public. We are well widiin the truth when we say that
no other man of his means was more generous to the widow and the orphan, to those overtaken
with misfortune or sorrow, than he was. Now he is gone. The realization that he has passed away
brings a sense of loneliness, for we loved him, and will cherish his memory forever."
From an editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune by Noble Warrum, a long-time friend of the
President's, came the following: 3
"Tall, slender, bearded, gray, and grave, of striking appearance and patriarchal bearing, President
Grant might have stepped forth from an illustrated page of the Old Testament. Had he lived in
those far-distant days he would have seemed, and no doubt felt, at ease and at home in the tents of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
"He would have taken high rank among the potentates and prophets of olden times as a shrewd
and sagacious director of temporal affairs, a rigid disciplinarian in spiritual matters, a methodical
chronicler of passing events, an indulgent but observant father to hispeople and a valiant crusader
against the mockers of Jehovah and his commandments.
"Modern minded, well-groomed, and up-to-date he will be remembered, yet it would have
required no great stretch of imagination to picture him leading the children of Israel through the
wilderness, counseling with the tribesmen of Canaan about their flocks and herds, hulling
anathemas at idolators from the foot of Sinai, driving the chariot of Jehu toward Jezreel, swinging
the sword of Gideon against the Midianites, smiting the walls of Jericho in righteous wrath, or
marching at the head of a triumphant legion singing 'Hosannas to the Highest/
"President Grant was a devoted son of the state and a tireless, efficient worker for the religious
organization he served long and well in almost every capacity, in this and other states, on this and
other continents. Thoroughly grounded in the history and teachings of his Church, conversant
with its social material, and ecclesiastical relations and ramifications, he was especially fitted to
develop the plans and purposes of his predecessors. * * *
"Amazingly frank and outspoken, a stranger to subterfuge and secrecy, he would have failed as a
diplomat; but these very qualities won for him the lasting affection of his people and the
confidence of all who really knew him. He has left a record of work well done and of duties
One of the best things ever said or written about Heber J. Grant was an editorial from the pen of
President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., which appeared at that time in the Deseret News, a part of which
"God fashioned him in heart and mind and body, in ability, in experience, and in wisdom, just as
he has fashioned every man whom he has ever called to lead his people, even from Moses of old
till now. No man ever comes to lead God's people whom he has not trained for his task.
"His was a simple faith. He met the test that Christ gave to his disciples, quibbling who should be
the greatest in the kingdom of heaven: Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye
shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore, shall humble himself as this
little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
"He so lived his life that it had no dark place across which he must draw a curtain. His life had
nothing to embarrass, nothing to hide, nothing of which he must be ashamed.
"He was completely fearless. Sin and corruption could not be so highly placed as not to meet his
"Truth was the sole guide of his life; error never led him down the wrong path.
"He was not a stranger to the Beatitudes. He loved the poor in spirit and to those who mourned,
he gave comfort. He was meek; he hungered and thirsted for righteousness; he was merciful; he
had a pure heart; he was a peacemaker; he saw persecution for righteousness' sake, men reviled
him and said all manner of things against him falsely, even as suffered the prophets of old. And
out of all these came his blessings.
"He had the pure and undefiled religion of James; he Visited the fatherless and the widows in
their affliction and kept himself unspotted from the world.'
"He was loyal almost to a fault; he was generous beyond compare. He was blessed with a
patience like unto Job. In his last years, as one affliction after another came to him, each carrying
the message he understood, that each was but another step nearer to close of life, he uttered no
complaint, found no fault, thanked God for the strength left in him, and worked on, every day
grateful for what he had, declaring for years, as day followed day, that he was better today than
yesterday, always knowing that God would leave him here till his work was finished, and then
would call him home with a summons of which he had neither dread nor fear.
"He could persevere day after day in the chosen course and defy failure. With his faith and his
work he moved mountains of obstruction to reach the end of the road he had made up his mind to
"He was a true husband and father. He loved deeply and trustingly. To him his home was an
earthly heaven, and he guarded it as holding his full earthly possessions that had value.
"To his friends he gave everything that true friendship asks — help, devotion, even sacrifice, and
trust and confidence also. He denied no friend a needed succor, neither to the child of a friend.
Blessed was that soul who called him friend.
"Under the responsibility of his divine call to the leadership of modern Israel, he grew even as
Moses grew after God spoke to him out of the burning bush. What little of dross clung to him
from the trials, vicissitudes, and livelihood contests of early life, dropped from him like dried
clods of earth as he moved out into the warmth and light of his high and exalted calling as God's
representative on earth. Wisdom and inspiration and revelation came from God himself to guide
him in his divinely appointed task. Without sham or pretense, without false pride or pomp or
ceremony, with none of the worldly trappings of place and power, he moved into his sacred work
with the humility and lowly mein that befits a faithful servant of the Most High.
"You — youth of the Church — walk in the paths he trod; they will lead you to eternal life. Seek
out for yourselves the virtues of his way; they will bring you peace and happiness. Cling to the
faith which supported him; it will sustain you always. Search out the treasures of knowledge that
he knew, and great wisdom shall be your portion. Cherish his way of life, and you will abide in
righteousness. God bless his memory to the comfort and succor of all who seek to serve God. He
was of the great ones of the earth."